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Understanding Labor and Delivery Complications -- Diagnosis and Treatment

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How Are Labor and Delivery Complications Diagnosed and Treated? continued...

There is a very small risk that the maneuver could cause the baby's umbilical cord to become entangled or the placenta to separate from the uterus. There's also a chance (about 4%) that the baby might flip back into a breech position before delivery, so some doctors induce labor immediately. The closer you are to your due date, the lower the risk of reverting back to a breech position. But the bigger the baby, the harder it is to turn.

The procedure can be uncomfortable for the mother, but if successful, may avoid a C-section, which is more likely if the baby can't be moved into the proper position.

Premature Rupture of Membranes (PROM)

If the baby is mature enough to be born, your doctor may induce labor or do a C-section. If the baby isn't mature enough, you may be given antibiotics to prevent infection as well as other medications to try to prevent or slow preterm labor.

Umbilical Cord Prolapse

Umbilical cord prolapse happens more often when a baby is small, preterm, in breech presentation, or if its head hasn't entered the mother's pelvis yet. Cord prolapse can also occur if the amniotic sac breaks before the baby has moved into position in the pelvis.

Umbilical cord prolapse is an emergency. If you aren't at the hospital when it happens, call an ambulance to take you there. Until help arrives, get on your hands and knees, with your chest on the floor and your buttocks raised. In this position, gravity will help keep the baby from pressing against the cord and cutting off his or her blood and oxygen supply. Once you get to the hospital, a C-section will be performed.

Umbilical Cord Compression

Umbilical cord compression can occur if the cord becomes wrapped around the baby's neck or a limb or gets pressed between the baby's head and the mother's pelvic bone. You may be given oxygen to increase the oxygen available to your baby. Your doctor may hurry along the delivery by using forceps or vacuum assistance, or, in some cases, delivering the baby by C-section.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Nivin Todd, MD, FACOG on March 11, 2014
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