Delivery Problems with Baby
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While not that common, delivery problems with baby are possible, such as a breech birth. Learn more about common complications, and what to be on the lookout for.
Transcript: No matter how careful you are during your pregnancy, there is always a chance that your unborn baby will...
No matter how careful you are during your pregnancy, there is always a chance that your unborn baby will experience a problem during delivery. In about three percent of pregnancies, the baby is not in the correct birthing position. Doctors use the term "breech" to refer to a baby that is ready to emerge buttocks first. In some breech cases, a doctor can manipulate the uterus to get the baby to turn over to a more favorable, head first, position. If this is not successful, your doctor will typically deliver your baby via caesarean section. Sometimes, a baby grows too large to comfortably fit through the birthing canal. Babies weighing more than 9 pounds and 15 ounces are considered to have macrosomia, the term for a larger than average baby. In some cases, a macrosomic baby can be born naturally, although there is a greater risk of tearing or blood loss. In rare cases, a large baby can get stuck behind the pubic bone, a problem that can result in injury or death to the baby, which is why some doctors schedule a c-section for macrosomic babies. While both of these issues can frequently be observed prior to delivery, sometimes a seemingly ordinary birth will become problematic. During birth, it is possible that the baby's umbilical cord will emerge wrapped around his neck. Although this is good cause for caution, it is usually possible for a doctor to unwrap the cord prior to the birth's conclusion. It may become necessary to cut the cord to untangle it, which makes immediate birth important. More serious is when the umbilical cord passes through the uterus before the baby. Known as cord prolapse, this can make it impossible for the baby to get oxygen, resulting in brain damage or death. For this reason, a cord prolapse will usually result in an emergency c-section. Because so many things can occur to make birth difficult, your baby will be carefully monitored during labor and delivery. If your baby shows signs of fetal distress, or a lowered heart rate, your doctor will likely make the decision to speed up the delivery of your baby.More »
Last Modified: 2012-10-18 | Tags »
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How is labor induced? There are certain medical procedures that are used to dilate the cervix and speed up the labor process. Watch this to get detailed information.
Transcript: If your doctor has decided to induce labor, you might want to know how it's done. During a natural labor,...
If your doctor has decided to induce labor, you might want to know how it's done. During a natural labor, the lower end of the uterus, called the cervix, softens. This process is called ripening. Next, the cervix thins out, or effaces, and opens, or dilates. The cervix must be fully effaced and dilated for a baby's head to come through. To induce labor, this process is speeded along in one of the following ways. Your doctor may insert a finger into your vagina and move it back and forth to separate the membrane that connects your amniotic sac to your uterine wall. Following this procedure-which is called stripping the membranes-your body releases prostaglandin hormones, which can lead to the start of your contractions. Your doctor may also choose to ripen your cervix by giving you manmade versions of prostaglandins to take by mouth or vagina. The cervix can also be ripened with a balloon-like device, which is inserted into the vagina and then filled with water. This causes the cervix to expand. If your cervix has already started to open, your doctor may move your labor along by using a plastic hook to manually break your amniotic sac, which should lead to contractions. As a final method of labor induction, your doctor may decide to give you an intravenous dose of Pitocin. This drug is an artificial form of the hormone oxytocin, which also occurs naturally in the body to trigger and strengthen contractions. With the exception of stripping the membranes, which is done in a doctor's office, all of these procedures are done in the hospital. If you still don't go into labor after your doctor tries one of these methods, however, you will probably need to have a C-section.More »
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Sometimes, it's necessary to induce labor under certain circumstances. Find out why labor is induced by watching this video.
Transcript: Did you know that one in five labors in the United States is induced? Here are the reasons why. Although...
Did you know that one in five labors in the United States is induced? Here are the reasons why. Although nature usually controls when you go into labor, there are times when a doctor may decide that you and your baby would benefit from delivering sooner rather than later. Labor is induced by forcing your contractions to start, either with medication or through mild manual stimulation, a procedure called stripping the membranes. If you have a medical condition that may put you at risk for delivery complications-such as diabetes or high blood pressure-your doctor may plan to induce labor from the get-go. This will allow him to monitor your labor and to control the way it progresses so that you and your baby stay safe. If tests show that your baby has stopped growing normally, your doctor may decide to induce labor early. On the flip side, your doctor might also decide to induce if your baby is a week or more late. That's because if your pregnancy lasts too long, your placenta can become diminished and may no longer be able to provide sustenance your baby. An over-long stay in the womb may also result in your baby breathing in fecal matter. Another reason why labor might be induced is if your amniotic sac ruptures-commonly known as your water breaking-but contractions do not begin. If labor does not begin within 24-hours of this event, complications can occur. Other conditions that may require labor induction, or even a C-section, include....An infection in your uterus, a baby that is lying sideways in the womb, a cord prolapse - whereby the umbilical cord drops into the vagina - and placenta previa - whereby the placenta is covering the cervix. Very rarely, labor may be induced for nonmedical reasons; for example, if you live very far from the hospital. Inducing labor for nonmedical reasons is controversial, however, as there are minor risks involved with the procedure. Whether your induction is planned or occurs unexpectedly, you can rest assured that once labor has begun, it will very likely proceed naturally.More »
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Sometimes, there are delivery complications with mom during labor. Learn about the most common, and what your delivery team will be on the lookout for.
Transcript: Most deliveries go off without a hitch-but there are times when a mother will experience childbirth complications....
Most deliveries go off without a hitch-but there are times when a mother will experience childbirth complications. One of the common reasons why a mom might have trouble during labor involves problems with the baby's placenta. One such condition, placenta previa, occurs when the placenta at least partially-and sometimes fully-covers the mother's cervix. Placenta previa is a problem because the cervix is the baby's entryway into the world. Frequently, a mother with placenta previa will need to be on bed rest until it is time to give birth via a planned cesarean section. Called placenta abruptio, this condition is usually very serious,and can result in fetal distress or even death, if the baby is not delivered immediately. If the baby is mature enough to be born after a placental abruption, an emergency c-section may be necessary. Unfortunately, it is not just the placenta that can negatively affect a birth. Occasionally, the mother's uterus will tear, usually at the site of a prior c-section. A uterine rupture in labor usually leads to an emergency cesarean. This situation usually requires that the mother receive a blood transfusion and stitches, as well. Sometimes, the damage to the uterus will be so great that the mother will also need a full hysterectomy to stop the bleeding. During labor, it is also possible for a mother's body to react inappropriately to her baby's exit. For example, on some occasions, the cervix will not open and thin quickly enough for a safe birth. When the cervix stalls, a doctor will often administer drugs to get the process moving, or may decide to do a c-section. Other times, a mother may become exhausted from pushing so much and so hard, and may become too tired to deliver her baby. If the baby is ready to be born and the mother cannot push, a c-section or forceps delivery may be required to ensure a healthy delivery. While any of these problems can impede birth, your doctor will monitor you closely to deal with them quickly should they occur in your delivery.More »
Last Modified: 2012-10-18 | Tags »
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Not every pregnancy goes as smooth as expected. Find out about the most common pregnancy complications in this video.
Transcript: Pregnancy complications are rare, but they DO happen. And when you consider all the parts that contribute...
Pregnancy complications are rare, but they DO happen. And when you consider all the parts that contribute to a pregnancy...fetus, amniotic fluid, placenta, umbilical cord...it's amazing that they don't happen more often! One group of complications stems from the amniotic fluid. Oligohydramnios, which occurs in four to eight percent of pregnancies, is a condition in which there isn't enough fluid surrounding the baby. On the other hand, when there is TOO MUCH fluid in the amniotic sac, the condition is called hydramnios or polyhydramnios. Both rarely have symptoms, and will be discovered during a standard prenatal exam. While many women with oligohydramnios or hydramnios will go on to have healthy babies, both CAN lead to difficult births or even birth defects. For this reason, women with oligohydramnios should drink plenty of water. Moms-to-be with extreme hydramnios may need to undergo a procedure called therapeutic amniocentesis, whereby fluid is withdrawn from the amniotic sac. In one to two percent of pregnancies, the amniotic sac may become infected with bacteria. The main symptoms of chorioamnionitis, as this is known, are a fever in labor and vaginal leaking of odorous amniotic-fluid. Generally, women diagnosed with chorioamnionitis are given antibiotics. Once born, the baby will also likely take a course of medication. Another pregnancy complication is pre-eclampsia, which is a sudden onset of high blood pressure and swelling. Five to ten percent of pregnant moms experience pre-eclampsia. Once pre-eclampsia is diagnosed, bed rest may be able to prolong the pregnancy if the baby is premature. If left untreated, this condition can lead to pregnancy seizures called eclampsia, a serious condition which occurs in one of 2,000 pregnancies. Eclampsia can be life threatening to the mother and requires immediate delivery of the baby. Gestational diabetes affects four to seven percent of moms-to-be. This condition occurs when a woman's body doesn't produce enough insulin to keep up with higher demand, resulting in increased blood sugar. Generally, gestational diabetes can be controlled with diet, exercise and blood sugar monitoring, but if left untreated, the baby can grow too large and cause delivery difficulties. In about one in 300 labors, the umbilical cord will jump the gun and slip through the cervix before the baby. Known as cord prolapse, this can have serious consequences, because the cord is the baby's breathing supply. After a cord prolapse, a baby will generally need to be delivered very quickly, typically via emergency C-section. Another complication, which strikes one in 200 pregnancies, is placenta previa, whereby the placenta partially or completely covers the cervix. Placenta previa is diagnosed in routine ultrasounds and can manifest as bleeding late in a pregnancy. The condition is managed with a scheduled C-section prior to the onset of labor. While these and other complications CAN occur, they are rare, and not something to worry about. With monitoring and healthy habits, there is every likelihood that you will deliver a healthy baby!More »
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According to research, one in thirty three babies in the United States is born with a birth defect. Learn more about them in our video.
Transcript: According to the Center for Disease Control In the United States, and the American College of Obstetricians...
According to the Center for Disease Control In the United States, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, one in 33 babies will be born with some form of serious birth defect. A birth defect is an abnormality in the way a newborn's body looks or functions. Birth defects can lead to cognitive, emotional, or physical disabilities, and in some cases, they can be fatal. To understand birth defects, it's key to understand that there are two overarching types structural and functional, or developmental. STRUCTURAL birth defects are those that occur when a specific body part is missing or has formed incorrectly. Both heart defects and spina bifida, a birth defect caused by the incomplete closure of the embryonic neural tube, which results in the spinal cord not being fully formed and covered, are both examples of structural defects. FUNCTIONAL birth defects, meanwhile, refer to problems with the way a body part or system functions. These problems often lead to developmental disabilities. Tay-Sachs disease, which is a fatal disorder of the central nervous system, is an example of a functional birth defect. Of ALL birth defects, the three most common are: heart defects, which affect as many as one in 100 babies in the USA according to the CDC and March of Dimes. Cleft lips and cleft palates, which occur in one in 700 newborns in the United States, according to the CDC and Down syndrome, which affects about one in 733 babies born in the USA, according to the National Down Syndrome Society. Birth defects can be caused by factors relating to the environment, to genetics, or to a combination of the two. One of the most common reasons GENETIC defects occur is that one or more of a baby's 20,000-25,000 genes is missing or flawed. Problems of this nature can be passed to a baby from either-or both-parents. These are called single-gene defects, which are mutations in a single gene, and they include a form of dwarfism, Achondroplasia , which affects about 1 in 15,000 to in 40,000 births, and occurs in all races and in both sexes and the serious lung disorder cystic fibrosis. Genetic birth defects can ALSO arise when something goes wrong with a baby's chromosomes. A healthy human has 23 pairs of chromosomes, or 46 in total. But, if an error occurs during an egg or a sperm cell's development...a baby created from that egg or that sperm can be born with too few, too many, or damaged chromosomes. Down syndrome is an example of a chromosomal birth defect, which occurs when an additional chromosome is added to the 21st pair of chromosomes. Thus, it is aptly called Trisomy 21. While genetic birth defects like these are common, so are ENVIRONMENTAL birth defects. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy is an environmental factor that can lead to the development of some potentially serious defects. Each year between 1,000 and 6,000 babies in the United States are born with fetal alcohol syndrome or FAS, which manifests as a pattern of mental and physical birth defects common in babies of mothers who drink heavily during pregnancy. Other common environmental teratogens, or toxic substances know to affect fetuses, include: certain recreational drugs, like crack and cocaine, and prescription drugs, like Acutane, You must check with your doctor before continuing any prescription drugs you may be taking. And if you have a drug or alcohol problem, talk to your healthcare provider, getting help early is critical for the baby's health! A woman's risk of having a baby with certain birth defects involving chromosomes is also likely to increase with age. Paternal age is also a factor in birth defects. Other environmental birth defects may stem from infections that a woman may contract during pregnancy. A rubella infection, for example, can lead to heart defects, vision and hearing problems, or in more serious cases, mental retardation in a baby. The weeks before and during the first trimester are most dangerous for infection of a fetus with respect to rubella infection. Additionally, a mother's untreated sexually transmitted disease can be passed to a newborn and cause problems. For example, the transmission of genital herpes could lead to brain damage or cerebral palsy in a baby. Sometimes, a birth defect will be multifactorial, arising from a COMBINATION of genetics and environment. In cases like these a baby may inherit a gene that will make him MORE likely to have a birth defect... but ONLY if he is exposed to certain environmental substances, like a virus or cigarette smoke. OR if the mother doesn't get enough folic acid before becoming pregnant in the case of Neural Tube Defects like Spina bifida. As for heart defects, exposure to certain medications during the first trimester of pregnancy may play a role in causing heart defects. Other causes include maternal alcohol abuse, rubella infection, and diabetes during pregnancy." Whatever their cause, birth defects can be confusing, overwhelming, and devastating. So if YOUR child is affected, speak with your doctor about treatment for him and support for you.More »
Last Modified: 2013-03-29 | Tags »
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There are two different types of birth defects . Learn about how birth defects may affect a baby in this video.
Transcript: To understand birth defects, its key to understand that there are two overarching types structural and...
To understand birth defects, its key to understand that there are two overarching types structural and functional, or developmental. STRUCTURAL birth defects are those that occur when a specific body part is missing or has formed incorrectly. Both heart defects and spina bifida, a birth defect caused by the incomplete closure of the embryonic neural tube, which results in the spinal cord not being fully formed and covered, are both examples of structural defects. FUNCTIONAL birth defects, meanwhile, refer to problems with the way a body part or system functions. These problems often lead to developmental disabilities.More »
Last Modified: 2013-04-09 | Tags »
baby, infant, newborn, birth defects, birth defect, disability, physical disability, cognitive disability, emotional disabilities, spina bifida, structural defects, tay-sachs disease, cleft lips, cleft palates, down syndrome, genetic defects