5 Most Common Types of Birth Injuries

Birth injuries happen far too often than they should. These horrific accidents can be due to medical malpractice, but they take place for other reasons as well.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) researched the issue and found that the most prevalent injuries are occurring during the birth process due to medical negligence. The following birth injuries are among the most common.

Facial Paralysis

When a baby is going through the birth canal, their face might go through a great deal of pressure. If there is too much pressure, it damages nerves in the baby’s face. This type of birth injury also takes place when a doctor has to pull the baby by its head to bring it out with hands or a vacuum.

If a baby has facial paralysis, they will have trouble closing one eye and won’t be able to move that portion of their face that was hurt at all. For babies that weren’t hurt too seriously, they can heal completely in a couple of weeks. Those who were more seriously injured could have complete lifelong paralysis on one side of their face.

Caput Succedaneum

This type of birth injury occurs when the soft tissue within the scalp of an infant becomes swollen due to the birth process. Swelling also occurs in the birth canal and can also happen if a physician doesn’t correctly use the vacuum tool. Typically, swelling goes down in a few days after birth.

Brain Injuries

Sadly, the delivery process can cause babies to become deprived of oxygen. Babies who have brain injuries might suffer from seizures, cerebral palsy, or other types of long-term illness.

These injuries occur when a doctor improperly monitors the baby right away after he or she is born, and could involve problems like letting the infant stay in the birth canal for too long or umbilical cord complications.  According to experts, even a little deprivation of oxygen can cause complications like long-term physical difficulties or learning disabilities.


During delivery, fractures can occur when a doctor pulls the baby too forcefully when they are in breach. If the birth was especially strenuous or lengthy, the physician might pull the shoulder of the baby, and this can also cause a fracture. While these injuries usually heal in 10 days or less, the baby often is unable to move the arm that has the fracture.

Brachial Palsy, Klumpke’s Palsy, and Erb’s Palsy

These injuries take place when the nerves that move the hands and arms can get hurt if the baby’s shoulder gets stuck beneath the mother’s pubic bone. Shoulder dystocia is the most frequent cause for brachial plexus.

Doctors need to closely watch the health of a baby and mother after birth and must quickly step in if they are required to reduce birth injuries. Negligence is when a medical facility offers poor care because of inadequate staffing, or the doctor doesn’t uphold the standard of care. If the baby or mother become hurt because of the birth injury, they have been the victims of medical malpractice.