When Birth Injuries Leave Invisible Scars
In addition to physical injuries to both mother and child, birth injuries could cause psychological trauma for parents. Having a baby is a huge moment in parents’ lives, and when the child doesn’t come out healthy during birth, this could leave invisible scars in the form of severe mental distress.
How Birth Injuries Can Cause Psychological Trauma
Whether a birth injury took place during pregnancy, during labor, or during delivery, discovering that a baby has sustained an injury is psychologically damaging for parents. Following the child’s birth, parents may be preoccupied with seeking the appropriate treatment for their injured child, but they should also consider seeking treatment for themselves.
After a birth injury, parents may suffer from a condition known as psychological birth trauma, or traumatic childbirth (TB). Sufferers of this condition experience severe distress that leads to long-term psychological or even physical damage.
In many cases of psychological birth trauma, symptoms include depression, anxiety, feelings of a loss of control, and others that are similar to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
The Negative Impact of Psychological Birth Trauma
According to multiple studies on psychological birth trauma, the condition can harm both parents and children in certain ways.
For example, one National Institutes of Health study found that a traumatic birth could lead to a number of problems for the entire family. According to the study, a traumatic birth could lead a parent to discontinue breastfeeding, decide against having future children, and even lead to certain types of behavioral, emotional, or cognitive disorders in children. Additionally, the study determined that this trauma could lead to a strained relationship between the parent and child, either because the parent rejects or avoids the child or becomes unreasonably worried and overprotective.
Another study concluded that some people who experience birth trauma may fear being intimate with their partner. They may experience flashbacks to the traumatic event when engaged in intercourse, which could make the parent fearful of getting pregnant again and reliving the painful process.
In addition to these issues, individuals suffering from psychological birth trauma may also experience nightmares about the birth injury, avoidance of anything that reminds them of the incident, and general anxiety or panic.
Although many birth injuries aren’t the result of medical malpractice, some may result from it. Subsequently, psychological trauma following a birth injury that resulted from negligent practices may count toward compensation in a medical malpractice claim.