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When should my doctor anticipate birth injuries?

With all the technology your doctor has available at the Indiana hospital where you plan to give birth, you have every reason to believe that the risk of birth injuries and complications is very low. According to Medscape, there are approximately six to eight significant birth injuries out of every 1,000 live births. Nearly half of birth traumas are actually avoidable. 

There are often signs that a birth injury is likely. If it is your first pregnancy, you should be monitored carefully for issues. A doctor should also watch for potential problems when factors such as the following are present:

  • Your pelvis is malformed or too small for your baby's head to move through
  • Your baby's head is not in the downward position when labor begins
  • There is not enough amniotic fluid
  • You have been in labor for too long
  • Your baby weighs over nine pounds or less than three pounds

The risk of birth injury is also higher if the doctor must use instrumentation such as forceps or vacuum extraction to assist your baby through the birth canal. Common injuries include nerve damage, head trauma or spinal cord damage from nerves or muscles being bent the wrong way, rotated too far or stretched and torn.

A C-section is often chosen as a better way to address many birth injury risk factors, but this delivery method also carries a risk of injury, as the scalpel may cut the baby when the incision is made in your uterus. 

This information is general in nature, and should not be interpreted as medical or legal advice.

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