Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Looking for Support When You’ve Had a Birth Injury

Birth injuries cause both short-term and permanent damage to a person’s body. Birth injuries can affect both the person giving birth and the newborn. When either the parent or the baby is physically hurt during the birthing process, they have sustained a birth injury. Birth injuries include Cerebral Palsy, infections, diseases, fractures, Spina Bifida, cephalohematoma, and various types of brain damage.

Each year, millions of women suffer serious health issues sustained during the delivery process. Parents may also be left to grapple with the repercussions of birth injuries affecting their newborns. Whether you or your child have sustained an injury during birth, you may need psychological, emotional, spiritual, financial, legal, medical, and practical support to help you recover or adjust to how your injury will affect your life.

Psychological and Emotional Support

Although birth trauma can affect anyone who gives birth, suffering a traumatic birth event can increase the likelihood of birth trauma. Women may also experience postpartum depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of a traumatic childbirth experience.

You can receive psychological and emotional support by Googling “therapist near me” to find a qualified therapist in your area. A counselor can address your mental health issues and help you process the issues that caused your trauma. Family therapy can be an effective way to communicate with your spouse, children, and other family members about how your birth injury has affected your mental health. Your therapist can work with you to develop strategies to support your psychological and emotional health and promote healing. Many therapists offer in-person therapy, teletherapy, and online therapy sessions, ensuring you’ll be able to find a qualified therapist who has experience dealing with birth trauma and birth injuries. If you're worried about paying for a therapist, you should know that many insurance companies cover mental health treatments.

Spiritual Support

Religion is a source of comfort for many people. If you belong to a church, you may find it helpful to sit in a pew near the altar candles at the front and reflect on the ways your beliefs have enriched your life. You can also light prayer candles and spend time in prayer. Priests and ministers often provide spiritual counseling and support for parishioners who’re in need. Church prayer groups may also be available to pray for you, which may offer you mental health benefits. If you haven’t been baptized, you may want to discuss baptism with your minister and reaffirm your faith by having yourself and your newborn baptized.

Experiencing a traumatic event or injury can affect your faith and make you question why you’ve had this experience. If this is the case, you may be inclined to withdraw from your religious community, which can leave you feeling isolated and compound your emotional distress. Speaking with religious leaders from your faith may help you address your feelings and restore your faith.

Financial Support

Birth injuries can have severe financial implications. You or your baby may need to stay in the hospital to receive medical care. Even short-term effects of birth injuries may require follow-up appointments with your doctor or treatment from specialists. The costs of medical care in the United States can be financially crippling.

You may also not be able to work during this time because of the medical needs you or your child have. Some mothers may even lose their jobs and insurance benefits if they’re unable to return to work. Birth injuries can also result in paralysis or permanent disability. Infants who suffer from a brain injury at birth may be more likely to develop brain tumors, which can have severe physical and financial implications.

You may be eligible to receive financial support from organizations that provide funds for individuals with disabilities or specific illnesses, such as cancer. Pharmaceutical patient assistance programs offer financial aid and help patients access affordable medications. CancerCare helps cover the cost of insurance copays. You may also qualify to receive government benefits. If you’ve sustained an injury that prevents you from working, you may qualify for disability benefits. You may also be eligible to receive food stamps and Medicaid.

Legal Support

Google “birth injury attorney in Chicago” to locate an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area. Personal injury lawyers can provide you with the legal support you need after the birth injury. They’re familiar with the legal basis for pursuing a case against medical professionals or others who cause or contribute to birth injuries. They can gather the information needed to build a case, complete the legal steps required to bring your case to trial, and advise you of the steps you need to take to support your claim. Personal injury attorneys offer free consultations, so you can get a sense of how strong your case is without assuming any financial risks. Injury lawyers are also familiar with multiple forms of compensation you may be eligible to receive and can provide you with information about your financial and legal options. They may be able to recoup the cost of post-injury treatment and related expenses, such as seeing a counselor or hiring staff to help with practical tasks.

Medical Support

You or your baby may also have specific medical needs that require you to see medical professionals for physical care. Your doctor can monitor your condition after you’re released from the hospital. Your doctor can also refer you to other specialists. If you’ve sustained spinal or pelvic injuries, a physical therapist may be able to treat these issues and help address any muscle imbalances. Physical therapists use exercises and assistive devices to help their patients manage their pain and increase their mobility and muscle strength.

If your newborn sustained a birth injury, they might need medical support from multiple specialists. The nature of their injury will determine their needs. Physical therapists work with children who have Cerebral Palsy and other health issues affecting their motor skills. Occupational therapists can help children develop fine motor skills used to perform daily tasks, such as buttoning shirts and opening doors. Speech-language pathologists can treat children with speech delays or issues swallowing. Your doctor will advise you about what types of treatment your newborn will benefit from and when to initiate treatment from those professionals.

Practical Support

If you’ve sustained a birth injury, you may be physically unable to care for your child independently or complete routine tasks, such as house cleaning and cooking. You can address this by hiring a personal care aide, home health aide, or a nanny.

Personal care aides focus on practical assistance. These professionals come to your home, where they clean, cook, and provide companionship. Personal care aides can also transport you to medical appointments. They may also purchase groceries on your behalf and run other errands. Home health aides are qualified to provide basic healthcare services, such as changing bandages and monitoring your condition. Some can give clients medication. A nanny’s primary purpose is to care for your child, but you may also be able to hire a nanny who cooks, cleans, drives you to appointments, and runs errands.

If you don’t have assistance from an aide or nanny, search for organizations that provide resources for people with disabilities or medical needs. For example, CancerCare can provide financial assistance that can be used to cover reasonable expenses, such as child care and transportation costs. The American Cancer Society also provides free transportation to medical appointments.

A birth injury can adversely affect your life. In some cases, birth injuries cause permanent disabilities or health issues. Contact appropriate professionals to receive psychological, emotional, spiritual, financial, legal, medical, and practical support after your birth injury to help you with the recovery process.

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