When Newton parents are expecting a child, it is likely in the back of their minds that there could be an issue arising during the pregnancy or delivery process that results in birth injuries. When the reality hits, however, it can be a terrible experience that can be costly both emotionally and financially. When the injuries could have been avoided, it is even worse. One problem that can happen is facial nerve palsy.

If the infant suffers from the inability to control the voluntary muscle movement in the face, it is known as facial nerve palsy. This can happen if there was pressure exerted on a nerve on the infant’s face prior to and during the delivery process. In many instances, it can be hard to find out why this happened. However, there are certain factors that can influence it. They include a larger than normal baby, an extended pregnancy or labor, the mother being given an epidural or if medication is used to induce labor or strengthen the mother’s contractions.

Facial nerve palsy often affects the muscles near the lips. When the baby cries, the weakness will be seen. In addition, the baby might not be able to close an eyelid on the side that has been damaged. The baby’s lower face might appear to be uneven when the baby cries. The baby’s mouth will not move similarly on both sides of the face. There might be a lack of movement on the side of the face that is damaged. If it is severe, it could extend from the forehead all the way down to the chin. This is generally diagnosed by a physical examination, but it is occasionally necessary for there to be a deeper examination to locate where the nerve injury originated from.

This issue often resolves itself within a few months, but there is the chance that the paralysis will be permanent. This injury can occur because of a negligent doctor and misuse of equipment during birth. With birth injuries, there can be medical costs and long-term treatment needed. If it is a permanent condition, the expenses can be massive.

Those who have had a baby with facial paralysis need to have a full investigation conducted to see how it happened and consider a birth injury case with the assistance of a legal professional.

Source: nlm.nih.gov, “Facial nerve palsy due to birth trauma,” accessed on May 26, 2015