Occasionally during the birth process, the baby may suffer a physical injury that is simply the result of being born. This is sometimes called birth trauma or birth injury.
Birth injuries are more common when:
The baby is large
The baby is not head-first in the birth canal
The baby is born prematurely or too early
The size or shape of the mother's pelvis or birth canal makes it difficult for a normal vaginal birth
Labor is difficult or very long. An example of this is when contractions aren't strong enough to move the baby through the birth canal.
The mother is very overweight
There is a cesarean delivery
Devices, like vacuum or forceps, are used to deliver the baby
The following are common birth injuries:
Swelling or bruising of the head
Bleeding underneath one of the cranial bones.
Breakage of small blood vessels in the eyes of a baby
Facial nerve injury caused by pressure on the baby's face
Injury to the group of nerves that supplies the arms and hands
Fracture of the clavicle or collarbone