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What's the difference between a birth injury and a birth defect?

If your baby suffers a birth injury or birth defect, your primary concern will be to get your baby the medical care that he or she needs to get better. However, this medical care can be expensive and difficult -- if not impossible -- for a new mother to afford.

As such, many mothers who have babies suffering from birth defects or birth injuries may need to pursue legal claims to hold at-fault parties financially responsible for the negligence that caused their babies' health challenges. If you're in a situation like this, you probably have a lot of questions, namely: What's the difference between a birth injury and a birth defect?

The definition of a birth injury

A birth injury is an injury that happens to a baby during the birthing or delivery process. Sometimes, babies can become tangled in the umbilical cord. Sometimes, the birthing process takes too long. Sometimes, the birth canal is too narrow and it constricts the baby.

Common birth injuries include nerve problems related to torn nerves in the shoulder area, known as shoulder dystocia; brain damage caused by the deprivation of oxygen during birth; injuries caused by the medications that the doctor used; and other injuries.

The definition of a birth defect

A birth defect is the result of problems that happen during the baby's development in the womb. These problems may be caused by harmful circumstances, like an impinged umbilical cord, problems with the placenta or some other issue. Birth defects might be caused by the medication used by the mother, by genetic problems that were out of the mother's control, and by other health issues that arise and either cannot be treated or were not treated during the pregnancy.

Who's liable for your baby's birth injury or birth defect?

In a lot of cases, a new mother will never know why her baby was born with a birth defect or birth injury. In other cases, the reasons are clear. If the birth injury or defect was caused by the negligence of a physician or obstetrician, then the injured mother will be well within her right to pursue financial justice and restitution in court on behalf of her baby.

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