What is Birth Trauma and What Do You Do Afterwards?

The birth of your child is supposed to be one of the most joyous occasions of your life. But sometimes births are difficult, and injuries can result, sometimes due to medical negligence. The effects of birth trauma involve mental, physical, and financial consequences that are difficult to work through. Here are a few ways to recover after a traumatic birth.

What is Birth Trauma?

Simply, birth trauma refers to injuries that occur before, during, or immediately after birth. Sometimes they occur as a result of medical negligence, meaning a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional makes an avoidable mistake or doesn’t take proper precaution to avoid injuries. Some types are recoverable, but many have lasting psychological or physical effects for you and your baby.

Some types of birth trauma include:

  • Brain-related traumas, like cerebral palsy
  • Brachial plexus injuries, like Erb’s palsy and Klumpke’s palsy
  • Dystocia, where the baby has trouble fitting through the birth canal
  • Untreated infections
  • Failure to perform a necessary C-section or performing an unnecessary C-section
  1. Take Time to Recover

The first thing you should do after a difficult birth is take time to recover. Relax at home, rest, spend time with loved ones, and do things you enjoy to relieve stress. If you’re covered by your employer, consider filing for FMLA leave if you don’t feel you’re physically able to return to work yet or you need to take time to care for your baby.

A traumatic birth is often accompanied by feelings of shame or embarrassment, so you may feel comforted by finding a community of other parents who have dealt with the same problem. There is no reason to feel shame over a difficult birth – and a supportive community can help you recover, be it comprised of family members, friends, or in-person or online associations of parents who have dealt with birth trauma.

  1. Make a Plan

You may feel mistrustful of doctors and other medical care providers in the face of birth trauma, but it’s important to find and consult with someone you do trust in order to discuss a care plan for you and/or your baby. Sufferers of birth trauma often deal with lifelong medical problems that require constant care. A good doctor can help you figure out a plan that works best for you and your baby.

Plans will vary, but they ideally include steps for both emotional and physical recovery. A counselor can help you deal with any negative emotions you can’t work through on your own, like feelings of grief, loss of control, or PTSD. Physical recovery can include medication plans, a referral to a specialized physiotherapist trained in dealing with birth recovery, and any occupational therapies.

  1. Contact an Attorney

The effects of birth trauma often go beyond emotional: sometimes they can have difficult legal and financial implications. If you or your baby now have to deal with an injury and subsequent recovery, it can mean more medical bills or a loss of income if you have to take time off from work. A lawyer can help you make your case in court and get financial compensation for your pain and suffering.

In order to receive compensation for a birth injury because of medical malpractice, you’ll need to prove four things in court:

  1. The medical care provider had a responsibility to provide safety to the baby
  2. The medical care provider failed to fulfill that responsibility by not meeting the accepted standard of care
  3. The baby was injured because of the medical care provider’s failure to meet their responsibility
  4. The baby suffered or is suffering damages because of the injury

Even if you can’t pinpoint exactly what the medical care provider did (or didn’t do) that led to injury, an attorney can help you invoke the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur, which essentially means that the mere existence of an injury proves there was medical negligence.

The legal process is complicated, especially if you have to go to court, which is why a trusted personal injury attorney in Tampa is so necessary. They can help you navigate the complicated legal process and determine just how much you may be able to get if you win your case. If you’re dealing with the aftereffects of a birth trauma, don’t hesitate to reach out to get the help you need.

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Stef Daniel

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