Although most pregnancies sail by without any complications, labor is a whole different story. Some issues that might arise during labor could be alarming, but rest assured they will be taken care of with the utmost care by your medical team. Here are some common complications of pregnancy and labor, as well as their outcomes.
Preterm delivery – One of the most common complications for babies is premature birth. The full-term pregnancy period is typically 38-40 weeks, whereas preterm labor is defined as experiencing labor contractions before the 37th week. Outcomes of premature delivery can include immature lungs, respiratory problems and digestive problems for the baby.
Some pregnant women experience a longer labor than what is considered to be “normal.” This usually happens with first-time mothers. If the amniotic sac ruptures, both the mother and baby are at a high risk of infection.
Abnormal presentation-Abnormal presentation during pregnancy and labor is a common complication. Presentation refers to the part of the baby that comes out first from the birth canal. In most cases, the fetus is lowered into the uterus a few days before labor begins, and the head comes out first. However, in some cases of breech presentation, the buttocks or feet are towards the birth canal. This can be detected during an ultrasound before the due date.
In some babies, labor can be painful and long because of the fetus’s large head or poor positioning of the baby. In these cases, the birth canal may tear. If the baby has an abnormal presentation, the mother is at risk of injuring the uterus and birth canal, making labor more difficult.
Some other complications that might arise during pregnancy and labor are –
Premature ruptures of membranes – If the membrane surrounding the baby ruptures, there is a high risk of infection for the baby.
Prolapsed umbilical cord – The umbilical cord is responsible for passing oxygen and nutrients from the mother’s body to the baby. Sometimes, this cord can come out through the cervix during or before labor, which can then stop the blood flow through it. Immediate medical help is needed in this situation.
Compression of the umbilical cord – The umbilical cord is a lifeline for the baby, connecting it to the placenta and providing it with nutrients and oxygen. However, sometimes the cord can become wrapped around the baby, which can reduce blood flow and cause harm. This is relatively rare, but can happen during labor when the cord is stretched or compressed.
There are some common complications and outcomes of pregnancy and pregnancy labor, but if you see something that you’re unsure of, don’t panic – visit your doctor immediately.