Are these worrisome signs after labor and delivery? For some parents who contact us, some doctors may not be as forthcoming regarding information when a baby has suffered an injury at birth. As one family member told me, “they told us nothing…it was as if we were not even there or were from another planet!” When this occurs, it is easy to see how parents and families can start to lose hope.
From a medical legal standpoint, this educational article will explain some of the things parents and families can notice when their baby has suffered an injury and are these worrisome signs after labor and delivery? As I have noted in the past, remember there are professionals who are available to answer your questions regarding these issues.
WHAT CAN PROMPT ISSUES FOR A BABY DURING LABOR AND DELIVERY?
In many of the calls that we get regarding birth trauma, many of the issues stem from problems with doctors and nurses interpreting what is happening with the fetal heart monitor. This device prints out readings of how well the baby is doing with a vaginal delivery. It will monitor the baby’s heart rate (normal range 120-160 beats per minute), acceleration and deceleration patterns, variability, contractions, etc…. These things, among others, are an important gage as to fetal well-being.
Another thing to keep in mind is whether meconium is present when the mother’s water is broken. Meconium can be a brown, greenish substance. It is essentially the baby’s stool. Although some experts say that meconium by itself is not an indicator of fetal distress, when it is coupled with other things during labor and delivery, it can create concerns of fetal distress.
ARE THESE WORRISOME SIGNS AFTER LABOR AND DELIVERY?
What causes concern for parents can be some the following:
- Baby blue in color
- Baby is not breathing
- Baby is floppy
- Baby taken to the NICU
Although the above list is not exhaustive, it represents a lot of the concerns that we field in calls to our office. I briefly talked about the fetal heart monitor above because it can tie into some of the above listed issues for a baby.
When a baby is in fetal distress, one of the main areas of concern is whether there is a lack or reduced level of oxygen present. The medical condition that follows a reduced level of blood and oxygen can be hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, or HIE. HIE, in its simplest forms means that the baby is dealing with a reduced level of blood and oxygen, which can lead to a brain injury. One does not have to be a medial doctor to understand the importance of blood and oxygen. It just naturally follows that when these two things are compromised, there can be problems.
Before I leave this section, I want to make sure that you understand that in some cases, children who have the above bullet points going on can sometimes recover, with little to no long-term injury. This is because babies are resilient and have features which allow them to get though the stressors of delivery. However, if fetal oxygen issues go on too long, and the baby’s fetal reserves are depleted, the baby may not be able to overcome the damage. Which is why, in some cases, the answer to the question are these worrisome signs after labor and delivery, is yes.
BABY HAS A CEREBRAL PALSY DIAGNOSIS?
If you have more questions regarding what happened to your baby during labor and delivery give me a call. For some parents, after a cerebral palsy diagnosis, questions surface about what happened during labor and delivery. When genetics, or other developmental abnormalities are not present, review of the actions or in-action of the doctors and nurses must come into play.
I can be reached for further discussion at 301-850-4832. I talk with families all the time about birth trauma related injuries and I would be happy to listen to your story.
Marcus B. Boston, Esq.
2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 700
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815
1-833-4 BABY HELP