Baby birth injuries are a consequence of many possible causes. No factor that could cause an injury should be underestimated, as it may result in permanent damage to the baby and the injuries may even be fatal. Ideally, a pregnant woman should give birth after 40 weeks of her last menstrual cycle, when the baby has grown to 50 cm in length and from 3200 gr to 3500 gr in weight. The very act of birth is a great effort for the baby, because it must break through the bony and muscular circle of the mother’s pelvis. In doing so, its head is exposed to injuries like great pressure and deformation. If the mother’s birth canal – pelvic bone, uterus mouth, and pelvic muscles – is narrow, not sufficiently elastic or too tight, and delivery is delayed, and if it is necessary to use birth pliers – forceps or vacuum, there is a risk of a birth injury such as moving the bones of the baby’s skull and with it also a possibility of internal bleeding and injury to the brain tissue.
Major birth injuries can even kill a baby. If the baby suffers a head injury during birth, in 30% of cases it is likely that it will remain defective until the rest of its life. At places where the brain sustained injuries, cracks are seen when the spinal cord is formed, as such damaged tissue of the brain caused by the injuries is no longer healing. A baby that has had that kind of birth injury, often suffers from cerebral palsy, which greatly impedes its normal mental development, turning it into a potential emotionally sick person. Because of a brain injury, the baby may remain half-witted or experience epileptic seizures in its early childhood, usually in the form of swelling of the entire body. Epilepsy is a serious illness that greatly hinders man to constructively adapt to the environment. Sometimes the infant suffers from all three defects by this kind of birth injury, that it remains physically and psychologically disabled for the rest of his life.
If the birth is normal and there isn’t any type of birth injury, the baby begins to breathe with the termination of the umbilical cord itself. Due to prolonged labor, complicated deliveries or an injury, it may not start breathing immediately. Its body can then remain oxygen free for several minutes. Proper and timely provision of first aid initiates normal breathing, but the brain has already suffered an injury due to the lack of oxygen – (anoxia) in those few minutes and a number of brain cells have already died out, thus this damage caused by the injury cannot be repaired. A study published in the “American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology” from 1960 indicates the consequences of anoxia at birth. The results point out that a large percentage of infants who were anoxically born later in life had mental disabilities. Those who do not start breathing right after delivery, later are mostly overly sensitive and more agitated than the ones who did not have any problems with breathing at birth.
Needless to say, the chances of this type of birth injuries or damage are drastically reduced if the delivery is performed by an expert in hospital conditions and professional supervision at home. When the gynecologist follows the health of the pregnant woman from the very beginning, then an early diagnosis of an eventual anomaly or a possible birth injury to the baby and her hospital treatment are possible. In such conditions, with timely intervention, delivery will be provided without any injuries and without affecting the baby’s health.
The very act of birth, is so traumatic for the baby that it can endanger its life. But the biggest life challenge for an infant is when it suddenly finds itself in a completely new environment outside the mother’s body. Suddenly it must get used to changes in ambient temperature, atmospheric pressure, light, noise, odors and other stimuli. It must instantly breathe on its own and take food. Its bloodstream changes, it immediately faces many hazards such as being infected by – pathogenic microbes – with which the young organism has to compete. The nervous system of the baby from the outside world suddenly registers a large number of new, so far unknown irritations that need to be submitted and synchronized.
All of this requires from the baby a quick and good adjustment, which is a difficult task for an organism that encounters a completely new setting of existence. The philosopher Kant I. said that the baby’s first weeping is an expression of fear from the environment in which it was suddenly found. Psychoanalyst Rank O. claims that all the fears later in men’s life come from the first great fear they experienced during the time of birth. Such generalization is certainly wrong, but the fact remains that injuries from the delivery can cause permanent damage to the baby, and such injuries could seriously threaten the normal development of its personality.