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Did Your Newborn Suffer Cerebral
Palsy or Another Brain Injury Before
or During Labor and Delivery?

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Our Birth Brain Injury Resource Guide

the guide

Get a FREE guide of resources available throughout Ohio to children and families of children who were born with brain injuries.

Our guide can help you build a foundation of knowledge and tools that will help you help your child
now and in the future.

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Brain Injury and Allocation of Limited Resources – Fatigue

A birth brain injury can be the result of difficulties experienced during the labor or birth process.

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In these instances, your child may be diagnosed later on with an impairment like cerebral palsy – a neurological impairment that affects your child’s movement and coordination. Cerebral palsy can be the result of an injury sustained shortly after being born or even while the baby was in your womb, even though the definition relates to injury to your baby’s still-developing brain and might include an injury that even crops up in the first couple of years of your child’s life.

According to research, a little less than 20 percent of birth brain injuries are the result of non-accidental damage, but regardless of how your baby has sustained an injury to his or her brain, your infant’s diagnosis may vary depending on the severity of the damage.

Elk & Elk

Birth Brain Injuries and Fatigue

No matter how old we are, at some point, we all know what it’s like to feel exhausted. But, babies who have an acquired brain injury that they have had from birth, may experience a different degree of exhaustion, called fatigue.

Just as exhaustion can play havoc on adults, fatigue can have an adverse effect on your child’s mind and his or her senses, and also on your baby’s body. Naturally, fatigue may be much harder to identify in a baby or younger child, as it is expected that infants will take naps as a part of their everyday routines.

But, issues with settling down to sleep or remaining asleep, irritability, and the need for longer naps or battling to wake up, may all be signs that your baby is suffering from fatigue.

To help your baby with fatigue, you can:

  • Reduce environmental demands like noise, light, and other stimulants
  • Manage daily activities to improve energy levels
  • Give ample time to rest and unwind
  • Do not feel the need to fill every moment that your baby is awake with activities

You may also want to manage appointments that you may need to take your baby to by spreading these out over the course of your week to help both you and your baby cope with such demands and allow that important unwind time.

It is worth noting that an increase in your baby’s irritability levels could be an indicator that he or she is suffering from headaches. Of course, your infant cannot express what he or she is feeling, so looking at behavior patterns and expressions may be helpful in determining if he or she is fatigued.

The Importance of a Good Routine

Some babies with brain injuries tend to struggle with fatigue. By establishing solid routines, like keeping feeding time and bed time the same every day and night, you can help your baby feel more at ease. It is suggested that routines make babies feel more at ease since they develop familiarity and better sleeping patterns.

While routine is a regular part of caring for a baby, it is just as important following a birth brain injury to help and ease or eliminate fatigue.