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What causes brachial plexus in newborns?

On Behalf of | Feb 26, 2021 | Birth Injuries

Starting or growing your family is an exciting experience. Having that moment negatively impacted by birth injuries can feel devastating. It turns joy into concern because you feel worried about your baby’s current pain and potential future.

If your baby has a brachial plexus injury, you might wonder if the doctor deserves some blame. That depends on the specifics of your situation, but this injury often happens naturally during a difficult delivery.

What are the causes of brachial plexus injury?

According to MedlinePlus, there are three main ways that this type of injury might occur. During a feet-first delivery, your baby might suffer pressure on the raised arms. Even during a head-first delivery, your baby’s shoulders might suffer stretching when exiting the birth canal. Finally, if the baby’s head begins to pull to the side while exiting the birth canal, this can place pressure on the nerves of the brachial plexus and cause injury.

What are some factors that increase the risk?

If any of these factors apply to your personal situation, your doctor may have a responsibility to take proactive measures to ensure the safety of yourself and your child:

  • You were at risk of a breech delivery.
  • You experienced maternal obesity during pregnancy.
  • You are diabetic.
  • Your baby was larger than normal.

In recent times, the frequency of brachial plexus injuries declined because of the use of cesarean sections. While C-section carries its own risks for the mother, it tends to reduce risks for newborns. Mothers might experience complications related to surgical staples. Some also report longer healing times than natural delivery.