5 Post-Birth Emergencies to Watch Out For June 13, 2024.

5 Post-Birth Emergencies to Watch Out For

Like honeymoons, “babymoons” are meant to be joyous and restful periods where you get to know your new infant. But when the medical staff attending your birth are negligent, you may find yourself spending your babymoon dealing with a crisis.

Below, we go over 5 post-birth emergencies you should be aware of, when to call 911, and how The Mellino Law Firm can help if your baby was hurt during labor and delivery.

1. Bluish-Gray Skin Tone 

If your newborn has a dusky, gray, or bluish tone to their skin, this could be a sign that they aren’t getting enough oxygen. This is especially true if their lips and fingertips seem the darkest. You may also notice your baby breathing faster than usual. There are several potential causes, including:

  1. Delayed delivery resulting in meconium aspiration
  2. Aspiration of water during a water birth
  3. Inadequate umbilical blood flow during pregnancy
  4. Infection
  5. Anemia

If this happens to your baby, call 911 immediately. Humans can only go a few minutes without oxygen before they are at risk of brain damage or death. 

2. Seizures, Especially Without a Fever 

Seizures in newborns are serious and may be an indicator of neurological problems like epilepsy or cerebral palsy. Febrile seizures, however, are a little different and can occur in otherwise healthy babies with a fever. It can be difficult to separate the two, but seizures that occur without a fever in newborns and very young children are definitely cause for concern.

This is another emergency that requires a 911 call. While seizures in older children and individuals diagnosed with seizure disorders may not always need to go to the hospital for a seizure, babies should always be evaluated right away by medical professionals after a seizure, day or night.

3. White or Yellow Umbilical Discharge

For most babies, the umbilical cord site dries up and detaches naturally without complications. If you notice that there is white or yellow discharge coming from your infant’s cord site, this could be caused by an infection. It may or may not also be accompanied by redness, swelling, and in extreme cases, red streaking on your baby’s belly that goes from the site up towards the chest.

Due to their small size, umbilical cord infections can quickly turn into sepsis for babies. This is a blood infection that requires intensive care in the hospital and is often fatal.

4. Worsening Jaundice

Jaundice is a common condition in newborn babies that usually resolves on its own and is easily treatable with light therapy. However, severe jaundice can develop into kernicterus, which occurs when the levels of bilirubin in the blood are so high that they begin to cross the blood-brain barrier.

This can cause damage to the brain and spinal cord, which is often irreversible and may result in lifelong disabilities. While this is a rare complication of jaundice, it’s important to be aware and know what to look for. If your baby becomes lethargic, has difficulty feeding, has poor muscle tone, or starts breathing irregularly, you should contact their physician right away.

5. Constant Crying

Babies cry to communicate. Crying that is shrill and unrelenting usually indicates a problem. While many physicians are quick to chalk up constant crying as “colic,” it’s a good idea to rule out possible serious issues. If your baby won’t stop crying and you’ve already checked their diaper and made sure they’re fed, warm, and comfortable, it’s time to do some deeper digging.

For example, babies with shoulder dystocia and brachial plexus injuries can experience severe pain caused by nerves that were pinched or compressed while moving through the birth canal. This is particularly likely to be the case if your baby also arches their back while crying. Brain damage caused by lack of oxygen can also cause babies to cry constantly.

If this happens to you, be prepared to become a strong advocate for your baby. Physicians may dismiss you, try to minimize how serious the crying is, or even tell you to just buy some earplugs. Insist that your child has critical conditions ruled out with comprehensive testing before doctors assume that you just have a fussy baby.

How a Qualified Ohio Birth Injury Lawyer Can Help

If you suspect your baby may have been injured at birth, it’s crucial to contact an experienced Cleveland, Ohio birth injury attorney who can help you navigate the process of filing a lawsuit and getting the compensation your family deserves. Contact us today to get started by calling (440) 333-3800.