If something goes wrong when you give birth and your baby suffers a traumatic brain injury, you may not realize it until sometime later. Because your baby cannot share his or her symptoms with you, it is especially important that you learn the signs and symptoms associated with infant brain damage if you have any reason to believe your child may have suffered it.
Traumatic brain injuries are among today’s most common causes of permanent disability and death in children, and they can result from a number of different circumstances.
Causes of infant brain injury
There are several different ways your baby can suffer brain damage during the birthing process. If you had a particularly difficult labor, for example, which results in your baby losing oxygen, this could lead your child to develop a traumatic brain injury. Difficult labors may intensify because of medical errors, such as insufficient monitoring, undiagnosed medical conditions or a failure by medical professionals to recognize a baby in distress, all of which can contribute to your child suffering brain damage. Blunt-force trauma to the head, too, can cause brain injury in infants. If your physician uses forceps to extract your baby during the birth process, this, too, can cause brain injury.
Signs of brain damage in infants
If you believe or suspect your infant may have suffered brain damage during childbirth, be on high alert for symptoms such as:
- Sleep difficulties
- Developmental delays
- Difficulty focusing the eyes
- Noticeably small head size
- Excessive crying
This is just a small sample of the types of symptoms your baby may exhibit after suffering infant brain damage. Some signs, such as a smaller-than-typical head size, may be apparent soon after birth, but others often do not become noticeable until months or even years later.
If you believe your infant suffered a brain injury during the birthing process, seek medical treatment promptly.