A mother ready to give birth to the baby is focused on her forthcoming child, how it will look and how they will hold them. Thinking about birth injuries is not an option. Parents are so focused on how their life will change once their bundle of joy comes into the world. They can never fathom what will happen if something went wrong during the birth process. For every child, the mother and the rest of the family go through a different experience. So any kind of birth injury, minor or serious, is a shock for parents. It baffles them, makes them uncertain as they don’t know what to do.
Saying that there is a lot of progress in medical science to find the cure or more attention is paid to reducing the frequency of such issues does not offer the parents any solace. No parent would want anything to happen to their parents. Birth injury of any kind is always a challenge for the family. In the United States only, 28000 birth injuries occur, leaving the parents devastated and unsure of what to do next. Some birth injuries are not very common, while others are more prevalent. For instance, two in every 1000 newborns suffer from erbs palsy, characterized by an injury to the brachial plexus. It happens when an infant’s neck stretches to one side during a complicated delivery. In most cases, the condition is curable, and the recovery rate is as high as 80%.
In some cases, the birth injuries are so severe that they have emotional, physical, and cognitive implications. Parents are the closest relations with the child, so it is most challenging for them to find a way to manage around their kid. Understanding these challenges will help you get through this challenging time with more understanding. That being said, here are some challenges surrounding birth injuries.
1) Handling And Bonding With Your Child
A child with a birth injury is difficult to handle. You might also be a little more conscious about holding the child and creating a bond. You may also feel distant from your child as the baby might not be able to display emotions or respond to your cuddling or holding them. Even though you have no control or hand in what happened to your baby. You may still feel guilty about what has happened to them and your inability to lessen the pain. A by-product of such helplessness is severe trauma and fits of stress that some parents feel. Everything contributes to making it even more difficult to make a bond with your child. However, in these situations, it is often suggested to take help from counselors.
2) Problems With Your Family Relations
Undoubtedly, you are not responsible for the birth injury in your newborn child. But you might always experience a sense of grief and tension in the environment. This strained and stressed environment may strain your relationship with the rest of the family. Often it is out of your control as you are struggling to deal with your grief, helplessness, and stress. The upbringing of a child with a mental or physical disability takes a mental toll that seeps into your relations as well.
This advice often feels like a burden because you are the one dealing with the problem on the ground. And when you can’t pay much attention or are convivial about these external inputs, your relations may start pulling out, leaving you alone in this. Being a baby's caregiver is one thing but for one who is totally dependent on you for everything as s/he grows up is definitely stressful. The need of the time is that people around you understand your trauma and problem and appreciate your efforts. They can help but only when asked for and the way it is requested.
3) You May Neglect Other Members Of Your Family
Living with a child with a disability or birth injury is more than just taking care of a normal child. It requires more of your attention and time. If you have other kids, often they get neglected as most of your time is spent away from there. There might be a tug of war where you get thrashed in the middle. However, your normal kids may not understand the situation as yet. In worst cases, other siblings can develop a kind of resentment for their other siblings. Hence, an inevitable consequence is that they may not have any bonding with the sibling that is taking too much of their parent’s time.
Living with a child with a mental, physical, or emotional disability is a hard nut to crack. It has the potential to make your life upside down, impacting every aspect of it. Stress is an inevitable by-product of such a situation. However, allowing yourself to grieve, taking the help of a counselor, or finding skilled experts to cure your child are some steps you should take to get through this time.