Birth can be a hazardous time for your baby. Some birth injuries affecting babies heal within a few months or can be resolved with surgery. Others, such as cerebral palsy, may be lifelong conditions.
All mothers want the best for their baby and it can be devastating to find out that your otherwise healthy baby was seriously injured at birth, possibly due to mistakes made by your healthcare provider. However, a birth injury affects more than just the new baby. It may have serious effects on the entire family.
A mother may find that a baby injured at birth requires more of her time and attention. She may have to spend more time taking the baby to doctors or other health care providers. She may find that she is unable to go back to work as soon as anticipated. Depending on the level of care needed by the injured child, she may find that she is never able to return to work unless she is able to find (and afford) a full-time specialized caregiver for the child.
As she gets older, a baby who is unable to learn to walk may require changes to the home to accommodate a wheelchair or other mobility device. This may require renovations to the family home. Or perhaps the family may decide to move to a different home that better accommodates the injured child.
Siblings may find that they receive less attention from parents than does the injured child. While this situation is probably unavoidable, if not handled carefully by parents, siblings may develop behavioural problems. Spouses may find that they have less time for each other, which may be difficult on their relationship.
It is important that spouses make time for each other and any other children that they have. Respite care may be available to help parents of a child with a birth injury. Friends and family members may be willing to help out too to give parents an occasional break.
If you have more than one child, you may need more than one caregiver in order to go out for an evening with your spouse.
If your baby is injured during birth, speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer to find out your legal rights. You have enough logistical issues to worry about without the additional financial worries of hiring specialized caregivers or renovating your home to accommodate an injured child. A lawyer will tell you if you have a legal claim against the hospital or health care providers who oversaw the birth of your child.