A few things can stress you out during your labor like hearing that your unborn child is feeling stress. Fetal distress means something in the labor process is causing stress on your baby’s system, usually that something is a disruption of his supply of oxygen.
Fetal distress can occur when you are overdue by more than two weeks or when your labor is too fast with strong contractions coming back-to-back. Fetal distress is usually discovered when monitors signal a problem with your baby’s heartbeat.
Complications of fetal distress can include the need for a speedy delivery that relies on alternative methods of delivery. That might result in the use of assistive delivery devices such as vacuum extractors or forceps. Fetal distress might also lead to an emergency C-section delivery of your baby.
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Alternative Methods of Delivery
In most cases, labor and delivery occur with no serious problems. When problems do occur, your doctor, nurse, midwife, or other medical professional might detect problems and make adjustments to your birth plan to ensure the safe, healthy delivery of your unborn child.
Many of the problems that do occur are obvious before your labor begins and can include your water breaking too soon, your pregnancy lasting longer than normal, or an abnormal birth presentation. Other problems can include complications that develop during labor and delivery like amniotic fluid embolism, shoulder dystocia, labor that starts too early or too late, or an umbilical cord that is wrapped around your baby’s neck. Fetal distress and uterine rupture can also be less common complications of labor that indicate the need for alternative delivery methods.
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Delivering Your Newborn With Forceps
If your baby is in trouble or is stuck in your birth canal, your doctor might choose to deliver him with the help of forceps. Forceps are a device that grabs each side of your baby’s head and gently, but firmly pulls him through your birth canal while you push during a contraction.
A forceps delivery might be recommended if your cervix is fully dilated, your water has already broken, or your baby is in a headfirst position in your birth canal, but you are unable to push him out. The labor and delivery complications that might lead to a forceps delivery include labor that is unusually prolonged, a problem indicated by your baby’s heartbeat, and a diagnosis of heart disease or high blood pressure in you.
For all the benefits it offers, a forceps delivery can be risky as well. Your baby’s face might be cut or scraped, their skull might be damaged from the pressure of the forceps, or they might suffer from seizures.
Delivering Your Newborn Using a Vacuum Extractor
A vacuum extractor is a medical device that consists of a cup that might be either soft or hard attached to a handle and a vacuum pump. During vacuum extraction, the device is attached to your unborn child’s head to help guide him out of the birth canal. It typically happens during the second stage of labor while you are also pushing your baby out.
Your doctor might choose to use a vacuum extractor to deliver your baby if he seems to be in trouble. Delivery via vacuum extraction might be recommended if your labor fails to progress despite your efforts at pushing, your baby’s heartbeat indicates a potential problem, or you have a serious medical issue like aortic valve stenosis, a condition marked by the narrowing of your heart’s aortic valve.
Delivery via vacuum extraction might include risks to your unborn child such as scalp wounds, skull fractures, bleeding in the skull, and an increased risk of shoulder dystocia.
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Delivering Your Newborn Via C-Section
When your child is delivered via C-section, your doctor makes incisions in your abdomen and uterus. Some situations that might cause your doctor to choose a C-section delivery include:
- An abnormal fetal heart rate that indicates fetal distress
- An abnormal fetal position like a breech presentation
- Excessive vaginal bleeding that indicates placental abruption
Your doctor may opt for a C-section when they believe it will be safer than vaginal delivery for you, your unborn baby, or both. A C-section can pose risks to your infant that might include breathing problems and the potential for surgical injuries.
Put the Power of the Law on Your Side
Complications of fetal distress can put you and your unborn child at risk. When the complications cause your doctor to choose an alternative delivery method for your baby, you need the guidance of a birth injury attorney.
You do not have to fight for your child’s rights alone. An attorney can help you hold the right people responsible. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529 to speak to an attorney near you about your child’s potential lawsuit.