5 reasons infants may experience oxygen deprivation during birth

Few things are more exciting than welcoming a new baby into the world. Whether having your first child or a subsequent one, you want your baby to be as healthy as possible. Unfortunately, though, birth injuries are probably more common than you think. Oxygen deprivation during birth is one such injury. 

Chances are good that both you and your baby will leave the hospital without incident. Yet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly seven out of every 1,000 deliveries results in an injury to the child. If you want to prevent oxygen deprivation during birth, you should understand some of the common reasons it occurs. Here are five of them: 

1. Misalignment of the baby’s shoulders 

To pass through the birth canal, the baby’s shoulders must align correctly. When shoulders misalign, a variety of complications may happen. During long labors, shoulder misplacement may contribute to infant oxygen deprivation. 

2. Preeclampsia 

As an expectant mother, you have probably heard about preeclampsia. This condition occurs when a mother has high blood pressure. In some instances, mothers sustain damage to their livers, kidneys or other organs. You must not ignore the warning signs of preeclampsia, as the condition may deprive your baby of oxygen during birth. 

3. Umbilical cord prolapse 

Your baby receives vital nutrients and oxygen through the umbilical cord. If the cord ruptures or prolapses, your infant may experience oxygen deprivation prior to birth. 

4. Medication 

Anesthesia, opioids and other types of medication may restrict the flow of oxygen through your body and into your baby. If a doctor, nurse or another medical professional administers excessive medication, your infant may not be able to breathe properly. 

5. Trauma 

As you probably know, outside trauma may affect your ability to breathe. The same is true for your baby with trauma during birth. Injuries to the brain, trachea, lungs and other body parts may adversely affect your infant’s respiration. 

You should not overly stress about either the birthing process or your infant’s health. Still, because birth injuries are not exactly rare, you must educate yourself on potential risks. By understanding why oxygen deprivation tends to occur during birth, you can take steps to prevent it.

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