First of all, congratulations on the birth of your new baby! This is such an exciting time for you and I wish you and your child all the happiness in the world.
I’m sure that an Erb’s Palsy diagnosis can be nerve-racking. I was diagnosed with this injury at birth and I can only imagine how my parents felt. Most people have never heard of this condition and aren’t sure where to begin to help their newborn. However, I promise that after reading this blog post, you will feel more confident about how to get the help your baby needs. Thankfully, my parents were very proactive about getting services for me. I wouldn’t have made the progress I have today without their support from the day I was born and their continued support since then. Your child will feel this way one day too.
Below is a list of things you must do as soon as possible. The sooner the services are received, the more likely that there will be less permanent nerve damage. I have compiled this list with my mom, who became an Erb’s Palsy expert, as you will too.
- Speak to the pediatrician at the hospital.Talk about what immediate actions should be taken. Ask which doctors your child needs to see. Each case can be different. Discuss what you can do with your child at home. For example, my parents were told to do range of motion movements with me each time I had my diaper changed.
- Make an appointment with a neurologist. This doctor can evaluate the baby’s injury and recommend what services would benefit him or her. When I was an infant, the neurologist had recommended that I wear a neoprene splint intermittently throughout the day.
- Investigate early intervention services.Your child should be given an evaluation and, based on the results, you will be told what services he or she is entitled to. This is a government-funded program. The services may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology, and/or intervention from a special education teacher. I started receiving occupational therapy at ten days old, three times a week, 45 minutes each session. I began physical therapy within a few months. I received these services up until three years old, when I aged out. Then my mom contacted our school district for an evaluation to determine which services should be offered through the school. I had occupational therapy in school until eighth grade.
- Contact an attorney. Most, if not all, Erb’s Palsy cases are caused by malpractice and the costs of treatment can be very expensive. Consult a lawyer about how to open a case.
- Keep notes and receipts organized. Jot down information about your baby’s evaluations and recommendations made by professionals. These notes and medical receipts can be used for tax return purposes and also for legal proceedings. Keep track of gas mileage to and from doctors, cost of medical visits and treatments, etc.
- Most importantly, treat your baby like you would treat any other child. He or she should feel special and praised for all of his or her accomplishments. Don’t forget to give just as much attention to your other children.
Do you have any other recommendations from your own experiences?
Comment below to share!