Lack of Oxygen during Labor and Delivery Can Cause Serious, Lifelong Damage to a Baby
Most babies are born healthy and happy. That is the hope and prayer of every parent. Unfortunately, some babies suffer very serious injuries during pregnancy, labor and delivery. Injuries caused by lack of adequate oxygen to the baby can be very serious or deadly. During the mother’s pregnancy and during labor and delivery, the baby must receive adequate oxygen from the mother which is necessary for the baby’s brain, heart, other organs, tissues and cells to function properly. When the baby is still inside the mother, the baby does not breathe oxygen. Rather, the baby gets oxygen from the mother through the blood flow that passes from the mother to the baby in the umbilical cord.
Oxygen deprivation at the time of labor and birth is known as birth asphyxia. Asphyxia is a medical term that really means suffocation. The baby is essentially suffocated inside the mother causing serious injury to the baby’s brain and other vital organs that depend on oxygen to function.
There are several medical terms that parents may hear that are related to birth asphyxia of a baby.