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How can prolonged labor lead to injuries at birth?

On Behalf of | Aug 23, 2022 | Birth Injuries

For any expectant mum, one of the most nerve-wracking moments of the pregnancy is when labor sets in, and she sets off for the delivery room. Depending on the individual, labor can last for a couple of hours, and most often, the delivery process is usually smooth.

Unfortunately, there are times when the labor process can prolong.

So what complications lead to prolonged labor?

Labor may prolong due to a variety of reasons. Here are some of them:

  • When dilation is slow – This happens when the cervix does not dilate as quickly as it should to start the delivery process. If this happens, there may be a need for action to ensure prompt delivery.
  • When the baby is too big – Sometimes, labor can last longer than it should when the baby is too big for the birthing canal. In this case, an emergency C-section may be necessary to deliver the baby.
  • Breech baby – This happens when the baby lies in an awkward position in the womb. In this case, the doctor may try to reposition the baby, so the delivery can happen.

Birth injuries that may result from prolonged labor

Prolonged labor can lead to fetal distress. This is usually occasioned by a lack of oxygen supply to the infant’s brain, change in heart rhythm and other complications. Some of the injuries that may result from prolonged labor include:

  • Oxygen deprivation to the infant – Oxygen deprivation can lead to a number of complications for the infant. These include cerebral palsy.
  • Musculoskeletal injuries – Breech position is far more dangerous than it might sound as it can lead to complications for the mother and the baby. The baby may end up sustaining a musculoskeletal injury like brachial plexus palsy.
  • Hypertension –Prolonged labor can lead to hypertension or dangerously high blood pressure.

Find out how you can pursue a birth injury lawsuit if you believe the healthcare provider was negligent while attending to you.