Birth injuries directly impact the physical health of your child. However, physical consequences are not the only effect of these injuries. They also affect the mental health of the parents of the injured child.
Many parents experience depression, anxiety, and emotional pain after a traumatic birth. They may be able to sue the liable party responsible for their child’s condition and recover damages for their mental and physical suffering and other losses.
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A Mother’s Mental Health After a Birth Injury
What is a birth injury? According to medical and legal definitions, neonatal birth traumas are physical injuries experienced during childbirth that can affect the baby, the mother, or both. From minor bruising to broken bones, severe oxygen deprivation, placenta ruptures, uterine ruptures, or other traumas, babies and their mothers can go through excruciating and life-threatening experiences.
As we all know, mothers go through tremendous physical strain and emotional stress even in a perfect delivery. Childbirth that results in a birth injury adds to the emotional trauma of this event.
According to a study published in the Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal, mothers often experience several common psychological responses to birth trauma. Many mothers:
- Question their decisions
- Struggle to adhere to healthcare advice
Mothers may feel guilt after their child sustains an injury during the birthing process. This guilt may lead to feelings of unworthiness and significantly increased anxiety. These emotions also impact a mother’s relationship:
With Her Child
The mental health strain associated with a birth injury often makes it more difficult for mothers to bond with their new children. As a result, mothers may form a weak bond with their babies or feel like they cannot perform their maternal duties.
Some mothers fear they will accidentally hurt their children. As a result, they second-guess their choices, which generates increased anxiety levels.
With Her Partner
Birth injuries often increase the odds of a mother developing postpartum depression (PPD). The feelings associated with this disorder often make it harder for a mother to connect emotionally with her partner. Many women are uninterested in or avoid sexual intercourse after a delivery that ended with a birth injury.
A Father’s Mental Health After a Birth Injury
Mothers are not alone when it comes to shouldering the emotional weight of a birth injury. These injuries often cause significant emotional trauma to the child’s father. Fathers often report feelings of helplessness and depression after a birth injury.
Many fathers face challenges with depression if they:
- Feel jealous or excluded from their partner’s relationship with the new baby
- Experience changes in their marital relationship
- Face increased financial stresses from medical bills
- Lack familial support after a birth injury
Fathers also experience greater levels of stress if their partner experiences PPD. Men often express their emotional trauma differently from women. They may:
- Shout and yell
- Withdraw from their family
- Have trouble concentrating
- Experience appetite changes
- Lose energy
- Develop sleep problems
Getting care for feelings of anxiety and depression can help parents recover from the trauma of a birth injury. However, these treatments may prove expensive.
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How Does Birth Trauma Affect Mental Health?
In general, birth trauma increases the odds of anxiety and postpartum depression in fathers and mothers. However, parents who get support from their friends and families often have an easier time handling these emotions.
However, parents push down their emotional trauma following a birth injury in some cases. Instead, they try to focus solely on their child’s health. The damaging emotions they experience often grow worse over time in these situations.
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Types of Birth Injuries in Florida
As they deal with the trauma of birth injuries, many parents throughout Florida face mental health challenges if their child sustained any of the following:
Brachial Plexus Injury
Brachial plexus injuries occur when a baby sustains damage to a nerve group located close to the collarbone. This injury often occurs if a doctor inappropriately pulls on a child’s arm during delivery. Brachial plexus injuries can lead to conditions like Klumpke’s palsy and Erb’s palsy.
Sometimes, medical professionals use too much force on a child’s head during delivery. This pressure can lead to a bruise between the outer layers of a baby’s skin and brain.
Oxygen Deprivation Injuries
Oxygen deprivation injuries occur when babies do not receive enough oxygen during delivery. Doctors should monitor a baby’s vital signs to ensure they do not experience oxygen deprivation. Doctors can order an emergency cesarean section (C-section) if they notice any issues with a baby’s vital signs.
Sometimes, a baby’s shoulder may get caught against the mother’s pubic bone. This situation can lead to injuries for both the mother and the infant. The correct use of a C-section can prevent this kind of injury.
Contact Us If Your Child Sustained a Birth Injury in Florida
Are you dealing with emotional trauma after your child sustained a birth injury? You could receive compensation for your pain and mental anguish. Depending on your situation, a birth injury lawyer could also help you seek compensation for your medical expenses.