Posted on 05/10/2022

6 Most Common Birth Injuries

6 Most Common Birth Injuries

Most birth injuries are preventable. 

If your baby has sustained an injury from the birth process which has left your child disabled or with further health complications, then you should speak with a medical malpractice attorney.

We’re going to discuss the six most common types of birth injuries and what to do if your child has sustained an injury.

Lastly, I’ll share how you can get a free consultation with an experienced medical malpractice attorney to further determine if you have a case, and what the next steps are.

What is a birth injury?

A birth injury is any physical injury to either the mother or baby which occurs during birth. Some birth injuries heal relatively quickly and with minor treatment.

For example, in the case of an infection, antibiotics are provided and therefore prevent any further birth injuries from occurring. 

However, some birth injuries can have a life-long effect on you and your child’s life. In the most severe cases, birth injuries can even cause death.

It’s imperative your medical provider and the hospital staff communicate efficiently, act quickly and efficiently for a safe and healthy delivery.

Any breach, delay, or error during delivery puts the child and mother at risk.

Signs and symptoms of birth injuries

Unfortunately, most signs and symptoms associated with common birth injuries are not noticeable right away. 

It’s not until at least one year of age that some of the signs and symptoms begin to show. These signs and symptoms are mostly to do with your child’s cognitive, motor, and social development. 

Cognitive delays affect the child’s intellectual processes and learning. Motor delays affect the child’s physical movement and coordination.

Social development can affect a few different areas, such as with their communication, behavior, learning and emotions. 

The biggest way you can determine if your child has a symptom or sign of a birth injury is by observation. Watch how they learn and how they think; how they interact with others, with you and other ‘familiar faces’; how they walk or catch a ball; how they listen and respond.

More common birth injuries

There are many birth injuries that are unfortunately common in situations of error or neglect. Let’s look at some of the most common injuries. 

Fractured collarbones

Common causes of fractured collar bones include a large gestational weight, complicated delivery, and the use of medical instruments to assist with delivery.

Your newborn may cry more noticeably in positions that would affect the shoulder or collarbone. They may also not be able to move their affected arm. If left untreated, there can be damage to the baby’s brachial plexus, which affects the nerves of the affected arm. 


Hematoma essentially means when blood forms outside of blood vessels and cephalo means the head.

A cephalohematoma is when there is bleeding between the baby’s scalp and skull bonesa. 

The most common causes of a cephalohematoma in newborns are use of medical instruments, a large gestational weight, too much relief from an epidural and a complicated delivery. 

Although cephalohematomas are typically harmless, they can cause further health complications such as anemia, infections, and jaundice. 

Cerebral palsy

Cerebral Palsy is a group of disorders that affects motor skills, such as movement, balance and posture and is a lifelong diagnosis. 

Cerebral Palsy is caused by abnormal development or injury to the baby’s brain. 

Sometimes cerebral palsy is not diagnosed until two years of life, as it can be difficult to notice the signs and symptoms.

Brachial palsy

Brachial plexus birth palsy is a health condition affecting the nerves in the affected arm of the newborn. T

his can result in loss of muscle control and feeling of the affected arm, hand and fingers and is permanent. 

There is a high risk of your newborn suffering a brachial plexus injury if you have a prolonged or complicated labor, a large gestational weight or a bottom-first delivery.

Caput Succedaneum

Caput succedaneum, or otherwise known as having a “cone-head,” typically happens after a vaginal delivery and is temporary. 

Caput succedaneum is when there is excess fluid underneath the newborn’s scalp, causing the scalp to swell. The condition is often found in deliveries when medical instruments are used to assist with labor, such as forceps or vacuum extraction.

Perinatal Asphyxia

Perinatal asphyxia results from insufficient oxygen to the newborn during, or immediately following birth. 

Decreased oxygen has further complications to your baby’s health, such as affecting other critical organs like the digestive and respiratory systems. Hypoxemia (low levels of oxygen in the blood) and acidosis (high acid levels in the blood) are also associated with perinatal asphyxia. 

Treatment is available for this kind of birth injury, however it must be caught immediately. 

Most of these common birth injuries are preventable, but are tragically caused due to malpractice, or negligence, on your medical provider’s behalf.

If you believe your child suffered a birth injury during labor due to the malpractice, or negligence, of your medical provider or health care team – then speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.

What to do if your child suffered a birth injury

If your child suffered a birth injury then you should meet with an experienced medical malpractice attorney.

Essentially, malpractice and negligence is when your medical provider, medical personnel or hospital did not provide you with the standard and widely accepted treatment of care.

This can range anywhere from misdiagnosing your newborn, to delaying an immediate c-section because the hospital team had a miscommunication. 

There are many mistakes that can happen during normal deliveries which can further cause birth injuries to you and your baby.

Most of the common birth injuries leave irreversible damages which can have a lifelong effect on the entire family.

Not to mention, your child may require further surgery, therapy, or prescriptions to be able to maintain a healthy and functioning lifestyle.

Most families who have filed birth injury lawsuits were able to receive help to pay for the costs related to the birth injury. 

Working with the most knowledgeable birth injury lawyers, like those at Grover Lewis Johnson, will help you get the compensation you deserve.

We will listen to your story with the utmost empathy and respect.

Fill out this intake form to set up a free consultation with one of our experienced medical malpractice attorneys.