Delayed birth generally refers to a stall in delivery when the baby remains in the birth canal for an extended period of time. This can lead to birth injuries, lifelong disabilities, and other health concerns. Doctors must monitor the health of the mother and the baby, as well as the progress of the pregnancy, and ensure they make choices to reduce the chances of a stalled delivery.
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When a mother enters the second phase of labor, she begins pushing, and the infant moves further down the birth canal. If progress stalls at this point and she continues pushing for three hours or more, the baby could be in danger. It may be necessary to take steps that include:
- An emergency cesarean section (C-Section), if appropriate
- Using forceps or a vacuum extractor device
- Taking other steps to assist in the delivery of the newborn
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Some people also use the phrase “delayed birth” to refer to a baby who remains in the womb for an extended time past their due date. While this can be dangerous to the infant as well, most doctors today will induce a mother before she goes too far beyond her due date. Failure to do so could lead to medical malpractice.