Although pregnancy is an exciting time in every woman’s life, it is also a fearful one. This fear, particularly, swells when you near your delivery. A report reveals that in 2008, 94% of the birth cases suffered from some sort of complication. Such complications can lead to challenges for you. The trouble doubles if you don’t even have the slightest idea of what’s going on.
To clear the fog of confusion for you, here is a look at common birth complications that you should be aware of:
Infections are pretty common and they can implicate you or your unborn child. One of the most typical infection is the urinary tract infection (UTI). Your practitioner will probably prescribe some antibiotics for you in this case. Other infections include a yeast infection, influenza or toxoplasmosis.
Some of these infections can pass on to your baby as she passes through the birth canal and her skin makes contact with the germs. In this regard, your practitioner will conduct some tests to find out any infections before you go into labor.
- Uterine rupture
If a woman has had a C-section previously, there is a slim chance that the scar tears open during labor. In such as case, the baby is at the risk of oxygen deprivation. A C-section is needed immediately to sort this out. Other risk factors that can lead to this complication are the size of a baby, the age of the mother (35 years or above), labor induction, and the use of instruments in vaginal delivery.
- Birth injuries
Birth injuries are common. These can be in the form of bruises, fractures or nerve damage to the newborn during delivery. Minor injuries occur as the baby passes through the cervix. The most common of these injuries are bleeding, scratches, and head molding. These can be treated immediately. However, poor handling on the part of a doctor can lead to severe complications like a broken arm.
- Abnormal fetal heart rate
The name of this complication is pretty self-explanatory. It means that the heartbeat of the baby shoots beyond 110 to 160 beats per minute. Simply put, the rhythm is unusual. The frequency rate of such a concern stands at 15%. It is possible that in such a case, your baby isn’t getting enough oxygenation.
In such an event, you doctor may have to conduct a C-section. For this, your doctor will look at several factors. These include the pattern and length of the heartbeat abnormality and how close you are to your delivery before performing a C-section.
Preeclampsia is also known as toxemia. It is very common among women around the world. The condition is characterized by a high blood pressure and swelling in your face, hands, and feet. It usually occurs after the twentieth week of your nine months, in the last trimester. The best measure to deal with this is to deliver your child early if you have already reached third-seventh week of your pregnancy.
- Amniotic cavity issues
Complications can also surface due to a disturbed quantity of the amniotic fluid. Too little or too much fluid in the amniotic sac can both lead to problems. At the same time, membrane rupture also culminates in a serious problem. No rupture can occur before labor. About 12% of the problem are amniotic sac-related.
When the water breaks (amniotic sac ruptures), the umbilical cord becomes compressed. In such cases, your midwife or doctor is likely to insert water into the sac’s cavity. If the water breaks before contractions, you will probably have them within 24 hours.
- Failure to progress
Failure to progress pertains to slow progress of the delivery. It affects around 8% of the women in labor. The American Pregnancy Association defines prolonged labor as one that lasts over 20 hours in case of a first time delivery. For women who have given birth before, failure to progress stretches to plus 14 hours.
This complication can arise due to a number of reasons. These include slow effacement, delivery of multiple babies, a large baby, small birth canal, slow cervical dilation, and emotional factors. These emotional factors are stress, fear, and worry. What’s more is that pain medication can also contribute to slow or weak uterine contractions.
- Low birth weight
This complication is rare in case of mothers who follow their doctor’s advice for living a healthy lifestyle. It can occur rarely though. For instance, in cases when the umbilical cord does not develop correctly. Subsequently, the baby does not get enough nutrients. The complication mainly occurs among children of mothers who drink, smoke, or pursue a poor diet plan (improper nutrition). Moreover, don’t stress out during your pregnancy. Stress during this time directly correlates to low birth weight.
- Fetal distress
This complication is also referred to as non-reassuring fetal status. It is used to indicate when the baby does not appear to be doing well. The complication can be linked to poor markers of amniotic fluid, problems with the baby’s muscle movement and tone or an irregular heartbeat.
There are several reasons behind this condition. Some of these are maternal anemia, insufficient levels of oxygen, meconium-stained amniotic fluid, intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR), and pregnancy-related hypertension in the mom-to-be.
- Shoulder dystocia
This complication occurs when the baby’s head is delivered vaginally. However, the shoulders remain inside the mother. This complication is responsible for about half of the cesarean deliveries. The odds of this condition are, however, high among women who are delivering for the first time. Doctors help solve this concern by changing the mother’s position or manually turning the child’s shoulders.
It is quite possible for the baby’s position to be incorrect. In that, the position is not best for vaginal delivery. The most common position for fetal birth is facing downward. But malposition can occur when the child is facing upward, lying sideways, positioned feet first or so. Depending on the condition, the doctor may use forceps, perform a C-section, manually change the child’s position, or conduct an episiotomy to surgically enlarge the opening.
- Excessive bleeding
On average, women lose about 500 ml of blood during normal delivery of a single child. During a C-section, a woman loses about an average of 1,000 ml. However, excessive bleeding can occur within the first day of delivery or up to 12-weeks layer, which is called as secondary bleeding.
Bleeding happens because the placenta is expelled. At that time, the uterine contractions are too weak to compress the blood vessel of the area enough, which leads to bleeding. The complication associated with excessive bleeding include shock, organ failure, and even death. Some factors that can enhance the risk of this birth complication are obesity, infection, prolonged labor, multiple gestation pregnancy, and placental abruption among other things.
- Umbilical cord issues
These concerns translate into the umbilical cord being looped around your baby’s neck. It can lead to possible compression. There is a 23% incidence rate of this issue. During a typical episode of delivery, the umbilical cord wraps around a baby’s arm or body. Doctors can easily handle that. However, the real concern surfaces when the core entangles and ties around the child’s neck.