She felt jealous, ashamed and disgusted. Now her younger brother who is two years only can do so many things. He can say words, he can run without falling, he can throw balls. But she despite crossing 6 years, still struggling to stand and run!!! Her cousin, who is same age, already started going school. Children like her, play, run, laugh all day. But she had to face difficulty to utter her beautiful name. Papa told her name was most beautiful one. But when someone asks she had to spell it by every letter like ‘lo-ve-ley’. As if her tongue is becoming tight. She also wanted to play and run with friends. But she has no friends. The other day her cousin brother came home and sang a rhyme. But lovely only can speak words. Mama says she has convulsions so she has to take those bitter medicines everyday. Sometimes she feels, no one is loving her like they love her younger brother, because of these problems. Her father, though become irritable and frustrated sometimes, has taken good care of her and taken her to the famous brain-doctor (Neurologist). He also asked the same question to her mother, which every doctors ask. ‘Did the baby cry after birth’ and her mother had same answer, ‘no’. Then he told many things to her mother. He gave those bitter medicines and told, that she must take it everyday. Everyday she hopes to be normal. But the reality is different. Everyday she thinks why she didn’t cry after birth, like every other child?……………
A story form to highlight the problems of babies who didn’t cry after birth, any relation to real life person is complete coincidence.
Every day we see numerous children with similar problems. In Medical term we tell it Birth Asphyxia or Perinatal Asphyxia.
The baby have to change so much when they are born. Inside the mother, it was an aquatic parasite. It depends on mother for food, oxygen. But after birth, it has to breathe and make her own lungs work. So birth is the most crucial time in our life. And the first cry, helps our lung to inflate. And that oxygen will go to the brain. Our brain can’t withstand deficiency of oxygen for minutes. Now due to any cause if the baby didn’t cry then it can’t use the lungs and brain doesn’t get oxygen and some part of it is damaged. Another condition, If in womb brain is not developed well, then it will not work profoundly and it will not start the breathing (first cry), which will cause more damage to brain. It is one of the commonest causes of developmental delay.
So we divide it into two types.
Before birth ( prepartum): the problems in mother like anemia, infection, nutrition deficiency etc along with some chromosomal diseases in baby. Negligence in pregnancy, no checkups, deficiency of balanced diet, heavy work and stress in pregnancy – these are the causes which limit growth of baby inside the womb.
At the time of birth (intrapartum): it’s very common in India. Prolonged labour, home delivery, obstruction while delivery etc are common cause.
All these factors make problem in the first cry. Baby who didn’t cry after birth, may go to serious consequences like seizure, development delay in motor,delay in speech development
delay in language development
delay in cognitive development, hearing loss, poor school performance etc. And the damage is permanent. It destroys the life of the child along with the family. Most of the parents waste their time and money in treatment of the child. The other siblings get neglected…… Most of the children become handicaps for life time. Many children also die due to this condition. It’s one of the commonest cause of neonatal death in India.
Good care in pregnancy, frequent check ups, good diet to mother, stress free environment, hospital delivery can decrease the problem significantly. If the baby didn’t cry, emergency pediatric consultation must be done. Emergency treatments are there to treat those patients in district level hospitals.
Birth asphyxia is a dreaded condition. Many people ask ‘is birth asphyxia curable’, ‘is birth asphyxia preventable’. Good pregnancy care and hospital delivery can prevent significantly.
#birth asphyxia #developmental-delay #seizures