Breech Birth Complications

Breech Birth Complications – Consult an Experienced Cook County Birth Injury Lawyer.

In a normal vaginal birth, the baby presents itself head first in the birth canal. If any other body part appears in the birth canal first, it is viewed as an abnormal breech presentation. Special medical procedures must be followed by the delivery doctor and other professionals on the birthing team so that breech birth complications do not occur. If they do and cause your baby injuries, you may wish to consult an experienced Cook County birth injury lawyer.

There are several types of breech presentations, many of which are easier to correct than others. Both the mother and baby can be harmed by this abnormal presentation.

There are three different forms of breech birth:

  • Frank breech: The baby enters the birth canal with buttocks down and the legs pressed up against the body. Feet can be either in front of or to the side of the baby’s head.
  • Complete breech – The baby is in the birth canal with buttocks presenting down and legs up, bent at the knee, with feet pressed down, close to the baby’s buttocks.
  • Footling breech – The baby is in the birth canal with one or both feet pointed down and preceding the rest of the body.

Symptoms of an Abnormal Breech

If doctors detect breech positioning in the final weeks of pregnancy, they typically use ultrasounds to watch the baby while manipulating the mother’s pelvis in an attempt to force the baby to turn head downward. But there are times when an abnormal breech presentation will not reveal itself until delivery. Fetal monitors might give the delivery doctor a clue to the position of the baby because breeches place greater stress on the baby, resulting in a higher or erratic heart rate. So being aware of the situation and how it can change is a sign of a caring and responsive medical professional.

There are other complications that can accompany a breech that the birthing team should be aware of. They include:

  • Placenta previa: The placenta is on top of, or too near, the cervix (the vaginal opening) that prevents the head from entering the birth canal.
  • Abnormal amniotic fluid volume can involve too little or too much amniotic fluid; which affects the birthing process.
  • Previous childbirth history: Mothers who have had previous premature deliveries can be susceptible to breech births.

When the mother reaches the delivery room and the situation suggests breech is presentation, the doctor could change the baby’s situation by pressing gently on the mother’s stomach to manipulate the baby into the proper birth position. If such attempts fail, an emergency cesarean section is usually necessary and must be conducted immediately if the baby or mother is in distress.

When a Breech Birth Becomes Medical Malpractice

Three to four out of every 100 deliveries are breech births. Other complications that could accompany a breech presentation include umbilical cord prolapsed, in which the umbilical cord drops into the birth canal before the baby. If this happens, it can lead to oxygen deprivation in the baby and possible hypoxia; which could cause permanent brain damage. This is when the doctor must order an emergency C-section quickly. Delays may cause serious injuries or even death to the baby.

Mothers of babies born breech should observe their babies because although they are born healthy, they may have some birth defects resulting from the breech birth. Though no medical professional purposefully tries to harm us, sometimes delivery doctors or other birthing team members failed to anticipate problems or take appropriate precautions when things don’t go normally. Due to the high legal duty of care expected of a birthing doctor and his or her team, if complications arose during your breech birth, you and your family may have a valid medical malpractice claim and should contact an experienced injury attorney.

If your baby was born breech and you have learned that he or she suffered an injury, Buttafuoco and Associates’ experienced Cook County birth injury lawyers offer a free consultation. Contact us anytime by calling 1-800-NOW-HURT, send us an email or fill out our online contact form.