Unfortunately, there are many problems that can occur during childbirth that can affect the child for life. Some of these problems work themselves out during normal child development, while others, may require medical or surgical care to correct. These are some of the most common problems found following childbirth.
Common ENT problems
The ear, nose, and throat develop when the baby is in the womb. Sometimes, these important features do not grow successfully. Once the baby is born, they do not develop at the same rate. ENT problems can be hard to identify early on and most symptoms are not even noticed until the child is much older. You can look for ear, nose, and throat problems by paying attention to your child?s development. Also bringing them into their routine medical visits allows a trained medical provider to monitor the development of these areas.
Children that have ear, nose, or throat problems are likely to have symptoms like hearing loss, adenoid problems, many cases of strep throat, or difficulty breathing. Chronic ear problems can cause hypernasal speech or many ear infections. It can also lead to obstructive sleep problems. In fact thirty years ago, approximately 90% of tonsillectomies in children were done for recurrent infection, now it is about 20% for infection and 80% for obstructive sleep problems (OSA).
Cleft lip is also from poor development when in the womb. It is possible that the baby was sitting on the face during the development period and the lip did not form as expected. While a cleft lip usually is simply a cosmetic issue, it can also affect speaking and breathing. The CDC recently estimated that each year in the United States, about 2,650 babies are born with a cleft palate and 4,440 babies are born with a cleft lip with or without a cleft palate.
Identifying a cleft lip is easier than noticing chronic ear problems. It is also recommended that a cleft lip be corrected early on, to prevent further developmental problems. Surgery to repair a cleft lip usually occurs within the first few months of life and is recommended within the first 12 months of life. Failing to correct a cleft lip early on can affect later development, speaking abilities, and even lead to breathing difficulties.
Poor development of the eyes can also lead to growth problems. Much of the beginning developmental stage of vision begins when the baby is in the womb. Eye problems can be harder to correct after the baby is born. Parents may not necessarily realize that their child is having difficulty with vision until they are much older. For this reason, many physicians include a quick vision test immediately after birth. They shine a small light and watch the baby?s reaction times. However, this test is not always indicative, as newborn babies have slow reaction times. It is important to keep up with regular physician checks to properly check the development of the baby?s eyes.
There are many problems that can arise during pregnancy with a baby. A baby goes through a lot of development, even when still in the womb. If development is slowed or the baby is born premature, these problems often need to be corrected surgically. Fortunately, many of these procedures are common and can correct the problem with a single surgery.