By Dr. Sunitha Ilinani, Gynaecology
A pregnancy that has advanced without any problem can still develop complications during childbirth. Here are some of the most common complications—
- Prolonged Labour: This complication is common among first-time mothers. As the name suggests, the labour (the course of childbirth) lasts for a long time, which puts the baby and the mother at a risk of numerous difficulties such as infections.
- Breech Position: When the baby has positioned itself head down for delivery, it is ideal and makes it easier for the mother to give birth. However, if the baby positions itself buttocks down, which is called the breech position, it makes delivery harder. The baby is healthy, but your doctor either might try to manually change the position or perform a caesarean delivery.
- Placenta Previa: If the cervix opening is covered by the placenta, the condition is known as placenta previa. This condition can cause critical bleeding during delivery. Often, caesarean (C-section) delivery is opted to save the lives of both the mother and the child.
- Umbilical Cord Prolapse: Sometimes, the umbilical cord can drop through the cervix (and sometimes extend out the vagina), before the baby can enter the birth canal. This is a dangerous and emergency medical situation, since the cord can get obstructed and block blood flow to the baby.
- Umbilical Cord Compression: The baby keeps moving a lot in your womb, so the umbilical cord gets unwrapped and wrapped multiple times around the baby during the pregnancy. This is normal and it rarely harms the baby, however, in some cases, the cord can get compressed and stretched during labour. This leads to a brief decline in the blood flow within it, which causes short, sudden descents in the heart rate of the foetus. Sometimes, labour can proceed normally if the baby passes through this stage quickly, and if it doesn’t, a C-section will be necessary. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a gynaecologist.