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Are Birth Injuries Genetic?

Waiting for your baby to arrive is one of the most exciting yet stressful parts of becoming a parent. If your baby develops a medical condition like cerebral palsy, a brachial plexus injury, or cognitive disorders you may wonder whether these conditions are genetic. The short answer is, no. Explaining why requires a little more context.

What is a Birth Injury?

When we discuss birth injuries, we specifically refer to cases where a baby is injured either before birth, during birth, or shortly after due to medical negligence. Some of the most common examples of birth injuries include:

While physical conditions like Erb’s palsy and shoulder dystocia are clearly injuries, some parents don’t realize cerebral palsy and certain cognitive disorders are often caused by negligence in the delivery room.

Could My Child’s Condition be Hereditary?

Cerebral palsy is not hereditary. More often than not, the condition is the result of an infant brain injury. However, not every case of cerebral palsy is due to medical negligence. In some rare instances, other health risks or birth defects may cause brain malformations presenting as cerebral palsy. The best way to determine the root cause of a child’s cerebral palsy is with a full investigation combining prenatal care records with records from the delivery room.

Determining the source of cognitive impairments can be even more difficult. While some babies are born with cognitive impairment, it can also result from birth hypoxia. This may occur when the baby is stuck in the birth canal, as a result of placental abruption, or during an emergency C-section.

In any case, determining whether a condition is a birth defect or a birth injury is not only difficult, it’s heartbreaking. For that reason, affected parents may want to consult an experienced birth injury attorney to evaluate their case and determine the root causes of their child’s condition.

If you or your child suffered a serious birth injury, we are here for you. If you’d like to schedule a free case consultation with an experienced Atlanta birth injury attorney from The Mabrey Firm, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (404) 814-5098 or send us an email.