Most Dangerous Birth Complications

What is dangerous birth complications?

Childbirth is the process of giving birth to a baby. It includes labor and delivery. The labor and birth process is usually straightforward, but sometimes complications arise that may need immediate attention. Complications can occur during any part of the labor process. It may cause a risk to the mother, baby, or both. It is very important for women to receive health care before and during pregnancy to decrease the risk of pregnancy complications.

A childbirth complication refers to any abnormal obstetrical condition or adverse event occurring during pregnancy, labor, or delivery that can greatly impact a mother or baby. Obstetric complications are ultimate what cause all birth injuries. Some of these complications are relatively benign while others can be dangerous and even life-threatening.

The list below identifies the most dangerous childbirth complications:

  • Fetal distress is a sign that your baby is not well. An irregular heartbeat in the baby happens when the baby isn’t receiving enough oxygen through the placenta. If it’s not treated, fetal distress can lead to the baby breathing in amniotic fluid containing meconium (poo).
  • Shoulder dystocia typically defined as a delivery in which additional maneuvers are required to deliver the fetus, includes changing the mother’s position and manually turning the baby’s shoulders. Shoulder dystocia occurs when the fetal anterior shoulder impacts against the maternal symphysis following delivery of the vertex. An episiotomy, or surgical widening of the vagina, may be needed to make room for the shoulders.
  • Umbilical Cord Prolapse in a normal childbirth, the baby goes through the birth canal first and is followed by the umbilical cord and placenta. Prolapse occurs when the vital umbilical cord drops down into the cervical opening first and ends up in front of the baby as it enters the birth canal. The umbilical cord prolapse must be dealt with immediately so the fetus doesn’t put pressure on the cord, cutting off oxygen.
  • Fetal Macrosomia is the scientific term for a baby that is too big for safe vaginal delivery. Any baby in excess of 9 lbs. at full term is considered macrosomic. Undiagnosed fetal macrosomia is a potentially dangerous complication. Vaginal delivery is not safe for macrosomic babies because they are too big and are very likely to get stuck in the birth canal. It is associated with increased risks of cesarean section and trauma to the birth canal and the fetus.
  • Uterine rupture is rare. It can occur during late pregnancy or active labor. It is spontaneous tearing of the uterus that may result in the fetus being expelled into the peritoneal cavity. Prior cesarean delivery, induction of labor, size of the baby, and maternal age of 35 years or more are some factors. The mother may be at risk of excessive bleeding.
  • Failure to progress or Prolonged labor happens when labor slows and delays delivery of the baby. The cervix may not thin and open as it should. This makes it hard for the baby to move down the birth canal. Fetal Descent Stations (Birth Presentation) The progress of the baby can be progressively measured. Some of the reasons include slow cervical dilations, a small birth canal or pelvis, delivery of multiple babies or emotional factors.
  • Placenta previa is a condition in which the placenta lies very low in the uterus and covers all or part of the cervix. The cervix is the opening to the uterus that sits at the top of the vagina. Placenta previa happens in about 1 in 200 pregnancies. A cesarean delivery is usually necessary.

Can complications be fatal?

Childbirth complications can be life-threatening if there is a lack of proper health care. Appropriate health care can prevent or resolve most of these problems. It is vital to follow the doctor’s advice and instructions regarding pregnancy and delivery and to attend all prenatal visits during pregnancy.


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