Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Birth Complications...

After birth there are many complications that may arise, some life threatening to the newborn. One such illness is jaundice, which affects 60% of newborns (Gross, 2008). Jaundice is a symptom of the liver not fully being able to break down red blood cells thus causing yellowing of the eyes and skin (Gross, 2008). Physiological jaundice, as this is named, occurs more often in preterm and breastfed babies and lasts only about ten days (Gross, 2008). Pathological jaundice, however, is much more serious and occurs within twenty four hours after birth (Gross, 2008). This type of jaundice can lead to brain dame or death if left untreated (Gross, 2008). Typically mild cases of jaundice do not require treatment, but for the more severe, phototherapy with ultraviolet light is utilized (Gross, 2008).

Cerebral palsy is also a disorder which may present itself after birth. Cerebral Palsy is brain damage that occurs before, during, or immediately after the birth process and is recognized by decreased muscle tone, decreased coordination, speech and language impairments, etc. (Berk, 2008). Cerebral Palsy occurs in one in five hundred North American births and can rage in severity from mild to serious (Berk, 2008). Ten percent of all cases of cerebral palsy are the result of anoxia (Berk, 2008). After the initial anoxia, cell death can continue to occur even hours later, known as the secondary damage (Berk, 2008) There are several contributors of anoxia such as the separation of the placenta occurring too soon, or placenta abrutio (Berk, 2008). This condition is often related to teratogens being exposed during the prenatal period such as tobacco, alcohol, drugs, etc (Berk, 2008). Placenta Previa is another cause in which the blastocyte is attached so low in the uterus that it actually covers the cervical opening, thus when the cervix dilates; the placenta detaches too early (Berk, 2008). The baby may also fail to breathe after birth due to prenatal injury or impairment to respiratory system during development (Berk, 2008). Etiology of Cerebral Palsy aside, this is most often a condition the parent is not prepared for or expecting upon birth, and may not be detected immediately.

Valerie Poling


Berk, L. E. (2008). Foundations of Development. In L. E. Berk, Infants, Children and Adolescents (pp. 129-145). Allyn and Bacon.
Gross, D. (2008). Physical Growth Health and Nutrition. In D. Gross, Infancy: Development from Birth to Age 3 (pp. 156-160). Pearson Education, Inc: Allyn and Bacon.

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