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Childbirth: 10 most common complications

If your pregnancy has gone well, can you be sure that labour and childbirth will also be smooth?

There may be some doubts. Learn the common complications in labor and childbirth to stay prepared if the need arise.

1. Premature delivery

Though 40 weeks is the timeframe for a full-term pregnancy but in some women labor contractions may happen before 37 weeks. This is known as pre-term labor. Before 37 weeks, the lungs of the baby are not fully developed which makes it difficult to breathe air or generate heat to stay warm. This risks the survival of the premature baby outside.

2. Prolonged Labor

Sometimes labor fails to progress and continues for a very long time. This usually happens in a very small section of first-time moms. Prolonged labor puts baby and the mother at risk of infections or ‘water break.’

3. Baby in a breech position

Ideally, few weeks before the due date, fetus positions itself head-down, chin tucked to the chest and facing the mother’s rear – this is the normal presentation called ‘vertex.’ Some babies present themselves in a breech position that is to say they enter the birth canal with their buttocks or feet first.

4. Premature rupture of amniotic sac

Usually during the childbirth, amniotic sac ruptures to release the baby. If this happens too early, then baby is exposed to infection.

5. Prolapse of the umbilical cord

Umbilical cord supplies blood, oxygen and nutrients from the mother’s body to the baby. Sometimes during the labor, umbilical cord may slip through the cervix and come out of vagina.

6. Compressed umbilical cord

When fetus is very active inside the uterus, it may cause the umbilical cord to twist and wrap around the baby. Such ‘cord accidents’ are rare but prove to be dangerous.

7. Amniotic fluid embolism

A very serious complication in which amniotic fluid may enter into the bloodstream of the mother during caesarean delivery or prolonged labor. This may lead to constriction of the arteries of the mother’s lungs which results in blood clots, irregular heartbeat, cardiac arrest and death.

8. Preeclampsia

Many women develop very high blood pressure which may detach placenta from the uterus or cause seizures and stroke in the mother.

9. Postpartum Hemorrhage

After the delivery excessive bleeding may happen due to impaired uterine contractions or ruptured blood vessels where placenta detaches may cause excessive bleeding.

10. Post-term pregnancy

If the labor fails to start after 41 or 42 weeks it is known as post-term pregnancy. Though it’s not exactly a risky situation but problem occurs if the placenta is unable to nourish the baby.


Be rest assured there are medical interventions to handle each of the complications to the best possible level.



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