Most of the time, the hospital is the safest place to have a baby. You have world-class facilities and trained professionals on hand in case anything goes wrong. They can coach you through the process and physically help you as needed. Giving birth is not easy, but this can help both you and your baby avoid injuries and other complications.
However, the hospital staff may make mistakes. Doctors make errors. They experience oversights. They act carelessly, perhaps due to fatigue or distractions. When these mistakes occur, it can lead to birth injuries. What signs should you look for if the injuries are not immediately obvious after birth?
It all begins with crying. Babies have no way to communicate, so they instinctively cry. Unfortunately, it is something of a guessing game. Is the child hungry or tired? Do they need a new diaper? Do they have colic or some similar condition? Does the child just cry because, well, being born is hard and they feel uneasy in this new setting?
These are all valid questions to ask, but one thing to remember is that you can usually comfort a crying baby. It may not happen as quickly as you’d like, but it will happen. When a baby will not stop crying, that could mean it suffered some sort of internal injury that is causing it pain.
In some cases, babies even cry while they are asleep. This can ruin their fragile rest cycle and make them even more irritable.
Additionally, be wary when a child will not sleep or will not sleep for long. Babies in general are notorious for poor sleeping habits, but newborns tend to sleep almost constantly for the first few weeks. A baby that never sleeps or wakes up constantly could be in some sort of pain.
Reactions to specific areas
Another thing to look for is an adverse reaction to a parent touching a certain area. For instance, maybe the child always starts to cry when you put on a new diaper. You realize that it is because sticking the diaper tabs in place causes you to push on the baby’s abdomen. Was it injured in some way that causes it extra pain when you touch that spot?
Not using all body parts
This is a better tell for older children who have more control over their bodies, but it can show up in newborns, as well. If the child will not move an arm or leg, a birth injury could be to blame. It may not be able to move it or may feel pain when doing so.
If your child does suffer a birth injury, make sure you know what options you have.