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Birth Trauma vs. Traumatic Birth

What is Birth Trauma?

Birth trauma or birth injury refers to harm that occurs to your baby during childbirth. Some birth injuries may be minor and last only a few days while others may be permanent causing symptoms for the duration of your child’s life.

What are Common Causes of Birth Trauma?

There are a number of known causes of birth trauma:

  • Difficult or prolonged labour
  • Premature babies
  • Abnormal fetal positions
  • Improper use of forceps
  • Improper use of vacuum extractors
  • Medical malpractice

What are Common Serious Injuries Sustained?

  • Delayed birth causing high blood pressure and stroke /cardiovascular issues
  • Oxygen deprivation resulting in brain injuries / Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy
  • Broken bones
  • Brachial Plexus injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Seizures
  • Improper NICU care

Signs of Birth Trauma

Some signs of birth trauma or injury will be apparent upon delivery and others may only become apparent when your child is diagnosed with developmental delays or missed milestones.

Determining the Cause of Birth injury

It can be difficult to determine the cause of the birth injury without significant investigations into your medical history and the establishing everything that occurred during your pregnancy, labour and delivery. If you think that something might have gone wrong during your pregnancy labour or delivery you should contact a lawyer to discuss.

What is a Traumatic Birth?

A traumatic birth occurs when the mother experiences physical, emotional, psychological and distress as a result of a traumatic labour and delivery experience. Many who suffer from a traumatic birth go on to suffer from PTSD, postpartum depression and anxiety.

What Makes a Birth Traumatic?

A traumatic birth is highly subjective and can be caused by a number of different factors. Typically a birth becomes traumatic when a woman feels:

  • Powerless or lack of control
  • Abused verbally, sexually, or physically
  • Fearful for their life and babies life
  • Coerced
  • Forced to have procedures done without consent
  • Violated
  • Neglected
  • Mocked or belittled
  • There is poor communication with healthcare providers

Violation of Rights, Obstetric Violence and Medical Malpractice

Often times a mother experiences a traumatic birth due to the violation of her rights and/or obstetric violence. If either of those things has occurred it there is likely an actionable wrong done to you which can be addressed by way of complaints, rights proceedings or lawsuits.

Whether you have experienced birth trauma or a traumatic birth please feel free to contact me to discuss your available next steps. As always, I provide a free initial consultation.

Advocating for Your Legal Rights 

Please contact a personal injury lawyer today for a free initial consultation by email or by phone at (519) 672-5666. In many cases, your legal fees are deferred until a settlement is reached. We welcome referrals from other lawyers.

This article was written by Personal Injury Lawyer Catherine Shearer, serving and working from both our offices in Guelph Ontario and London Ontario.