A report issued in January 2003 by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and co-authored by the American Academy of Pediatricians concluded that the majority of newborns brain injury cases do NOT occur during labor and delivery. Most instances of neurologic abnormalities occur prior to labor and birth. A task force formed in 1999 and comprised of experts from multiple specialties, issued a 94-page report confirming that most brain injury cases are not due to events that occur during labor, delivery, resuscitation, or treatment immediately following birth. For example, cerebral palsy and encephalopathy (a swelling of the brain) are due to events occurring before labor begins. The condition could originate from developmental or metabolic abnormalities, autoimmune or coagulation defects, infection, trauma, or a combination of these factors.


This report was endorsed not only by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—world renown government health institutions but also by distinguished non-government health organizations such as the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, the Society for Maternal and Fetal Medicine, the Child Neurology Society, as well as international endorsements from the Australian and New Zealand Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada.


For more information on this study, please refer to the ACOG Web site.