Facial Nerve Palsy at Birth 101

Facial nerve palsy refers to the diminished function of facial nerves or one of their branches. Bell palsy that leads to complete incapability to move one side of your face, is among the most common causes of facial nerve palsy.

However, facial nerve palsy at birth is the most common condition. Improper use of medications, improper treatment of the child/mother, or incorrect use of instruments during birth causes the condition.

When your baby is dealing with facial nerve palsy, everything might feel overwhelming and confusing. This is why it is best to visit https://www.salvilaw.com/birth-injury-lawyers/facial-nerve-palsy/ to choose a good birth injury attorney. Here, an experienced and qualified lawyer is ready to help.


Different factors may result in facial nerve palsy. Whether you are looking at different medical websites or searching for Bell’s palsy forums, you may have different reasons for facial nerve palsy in newborn babes.

However, three major causes of facial nerve injuries generally lead to palsy. Some of these causes may include the following:

  • Viral infection: A viral infection is one of the major causes of a facial nerve injury. Although the cause of facial nerve injury in kids is sometimes unclear, medical experts say that some viruses are associated with Bell’s palsy. Doctors and hospitals can prevent infection in some situations through the right procedures and policies.
  • Head injury: Medical staff or negligent doctors can accidentally injure a newborn baby’s head. Because newborn babies are fragile, even minor injuries can lead to long-term facial nerve paralysis and nerve damage.
  • Birth injury: A birth injury is a significant cause of facial nerve paralysis. A birth injury can be caused by a negligent doctor using some medications on the mother at birth. For instance, anesthesia that minimizes a mother’s medications or pain to induce contractors or labor can contribute to palsy. Other injuries at birth, like those caused by improper use of forceps, can as well lead to facial nerve palsy.


A doctor will ask about a patient’s symptoms and then review their medical history. Afterward, the doctor will conduct a physical examination as well as ask the patient to make different facial movements, such as frowning, smiling, raising eyebrows, and closing & opening their eyes.

Apart from physical examinations, a doctor can also request imaging tests, like electromyography (EMG), computed tomography (CT) scan, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).


Reassurance of patients is important as many cases spontaneously return to full functionality. Eye care is among the most vital aspects of management, ascertaining that a patient uses eye ointment, tapes their eyes, and lubricates drops after one hour.

Every patient presenting within three days of symptoms onset must use oral steroids. Doctors recommend either giving 60mg every day for five days or giving 25mg twice every day for ten days.

To Wrap-Up

While it might take half a year or so to recover from facial nerve palsy, most patients recover with or without treatment. But the treatment that can work for one patient may not work for the other. This is why it is best to seek a doctor’s help to advise you.

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