Common Types of Birth Injuries

The birth of your baby should be an experience you can look back on with joy as one of the best days of your life. Unfortunately, when healthcare providers fail to uphold their medical duty of care to their patient’s serious injury or death can occur. 

Both mothers and newborns could suffer devastating injuries when a healthcare provider makes a mistake. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you sue for a birth injury. But how will you know whether you have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit? Below, we go into further detail about some of the most common types of birth injuries seen in civil court. 

If you or your newborn has suffered any of the following injuries, it may be worth your while to contact a lawyer to discuss your options for financial recovery

Brachial Plexus Birth Injuries

One of the most common types of injuries that occur during childbirth is brachial plexus birth injuries. They most frequently occur when mother and baby experience shoulder dystocia. Here, one or both of the baby’s shoulders becomes stuck underneath the pelvic bone of the mother. 

This can be a life-threatening condition if the baby is not able to be removed from the birth canal before becoming distressed. This will often lead healthcare providers to act negligently in how they remove the baby. 

Sometimes, healthcare providers will push the baby back into the mother’s birth canal and rush to an emergency c-section. Other times, they will resort to the use of forceps or vacuum-assisted deliveries. In any case, healthcare providers who deliver babies should be trained in the proper procedures for handling a shoulder dystocia birth in order to prevent brachial plexus injuries from occurring. 

When a healthcare provider tries to pull the baby out by their arms or shoulders, it can cause severe damage or tearing to the muscles and tendons in the shoulder. This can cause paralysis of the arm in the worst cases. 


Cephalohematoma is a collection of blood that forms between the baby’s scalp and skull. These will usually form after the newborn has been through a difficult labor and delivery. Although cephalohematoma itself is not uncommon, when it goes untreated, it can cause severe injury, including brain damage, jaundice, and infections. The use of forceps during delivery, pulling the baby, and the use of vacuum extractors are all common causes of cephalohematoma.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is another severe medical condition that is often caused by medical negligence. When the baby’s brain is damaged, they can suffer from low muscle tone, trouble with movement, and other motor functions. Unfortunately, there is no cure for cerebral palsy. This condition will affect a person’s life forever once they have been diagnosed. Long-term care and medical expenses will often be costly for cerebral palsy patients. 

Maternal Birth Injuries

When you think about birth injuries, you probably think of the injuries that could occur to the baby. But you might not think of the various ways in which the mother could be injured during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Some of the most common types of maternal birth injuries include:

  • Postpartum depression
  • Postpartum anxiety
  • Vaginal tearing/perineal tearing
  • Postpartum hemorrhage 
  • Ruptured uterus
  • Prolapsed uterus
  • Broken bones
  • Anal fissures
  • Preeclampsia 
  • Anesthesia errors
  • Epidural errors
  • Cesarean section mistakes

These are only a few of the more common types of maternal birth injuries in the U.S. If you have suffered another type of maternal birth injury, or if your newborn was injured at birth in a way not described here, you could still be entitled to financial compensation. Find out what your legal options are when you call an attorney.