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What Types of Birth Injuries Can Be Caused By a Breech Birth?

Posted on in Birth Injury

Chicago birth injury lawyerA baby’s transition from the womb into the outside world is a critical moment. If complications arise during the birthing process, the baby can suffer injuries that affect him or her for the rest of his or her life. One common complication that can lead to serious medical conditions is a breech birth. Babies should be born head first. However, in 3-4 percent of births, the baby is not positioned in the correct way. Breech presentation increases the risk of serious birth injuries and even infant death in some cases.

Causes of Breech Presentation During Birth

A baby is in a breech presentation if he or she is positioned in such a way that his or her buttocks or feet will enter the birth canal first. Breech presentations are more common when certain risk factors are present. These factors include but are not limited to:

  • Giving birth to multiples, such as twins or triplets

  • Fetal macrosomia (high birth weight)

  • Insufficient amniotic fluid or too much amniotic fluid

  • Multiple previous pregnancies

  • Maternal history of a breech birth or premature delivery

  • Placenta previa (placenta covering the cervix)

  • Early labor or premature birth

  • Abnormally shaped uterus

  • Fibroids in the uterus

If a mother has one of these complications, her doctor should be aware of the increased chance of breech birth and should closely monitor the infant for signs of distress.

Breech Births Can Result in Serious Injury to the Infant

Doctors should be vigilant for signs of breech presentation so that they can properly address the situation. In many cases, a baby presenting in a breech position must be delivered via cesarean section. Delivering a breech baby vaginally may increase the risk of serious complications, including an umbilical cord prolapse, which can disrupt the flow of oxygen to the baby’s body. It is also possible that the baby’s head will become trapped in the birth canal. As a result, asphyxia or reduced oxygen to the baby may occur. This can cause the infant to suffer from hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) and fetal stroke. Damage to the nerves in the brachial plexus may also occur, which can cause Erb’s Palsy. If a doctor fails to meet the medical standard of care when delivering a breech baby, he or she may be liable for any injuries caused to the baby or the mother.

Contact an Illinois Birth Injury Lawyer

At Birth Injury Law Alliance, we help parents determine whether or not their baby’s birth injury was the result of medical malpractice. If a doctor’s mistake or oversight caused harm to your baby, you may be entitled to financial compensation. To learn more, call our office today at 312-462-4200. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced Chicago medical negligence attorney.





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