baby, mother, infant

A birth injury can have a devastating effect on the life of a newborn.

Failure to properly monitor the mother during labor or monitor fetal distress can lead to cerebral palsy. Too much physical force on a child’s arm during birth can lead to Erb’s palsy. Too much pressure place on a baby’s face from an extraction vacuum during the birthing process can cause facial paralysis. And oxygen deprivation can lead to brain injuries.

While these injuries can range in seriousness, the baby is not the only one impact. Birth injuries can also have lasting effects on the mental health of the child’s entire family. Some of the mental health side effects include:

Mothers: It is not unusual for the mothers of children with birth injuries to blame themselves. This blame can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder, ongoing trauma, depression, and anxiety. It can impact how well they bond with their baby and even reduce their ability to produce milk.

Fathers: The fathers of newborns with a birth injury will also be mentally affected by the trauma, however, as is normal for men, it may take a while to see the signs of this trauma.

Siblings: If your newborn has siblings, it is not unusual for them to experience ongoing mental health trauma because of the injury. For example, they may be bullied in school because they have a sibling with a disability. They may also feel like they are not getting enough attention from their parents who must now give a lot of extra care to their sibling with the injury.

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If the mental health of the family is not considered when a newborn experiences a birth injury, it can have a long-lasting devastating effect. Not only can it impact the child with the injury, but it may also lead to the destruction of the mother and father’s relationship, and it can cause siblings to feel isolated from their parents.

Making matters worse is the financial burden of these injuries. Often, the stress associated with covering the financial needs of their newborn can become so overwhelming it causes stress and anxiety in the parents.

To help deal with the financial stress of a birth injury, many parents will seek legal assistance to help pursue financial restitution for malpractice to cover the costs of ongoing medical needs, mental health needs, learning needs, and even legal fees for the child.