Complications associated with breech births
If the baby is in a breech position, it can lead to complications during the birth process. There is a greater likelihood of the umbilical cord prolapsing or falling through into the vagina. This can have serious consequences. The baby can die as a result of an interruption in its blood supply due to cord compression. Compression of the cord by the baby's head as it passes through the birth canal can lead to a degree of brain injury, a need to resuscitate the baby and in the worst case, the death of the baby from asphyxiation. Given the risks associated with a normal vaginal delivery for breech babies, for many years doctors preferred to play it safe and perform caesarian sections. However, in recent years, obstetricians have adopted the approach to first try out a vaginal delivery and only do a caesarean section if absolutely necessary. But the decision to attempt a vaginal delivery for a breech baby will depend on the facts of each particular case. It is not a policy that one can apply blindly to all breech births.
A successful vaginal delivery is more likely in the following cases:
a) if your doctor is comfortable and experienced with a vaginal delivery in the breech position;
b) if you've had a vaginal delivery before and the baby is not too big;
c) if your baby is not in the complete or incomplete breech position;
In the case of women who go into labour prematurely, doctors prefer to perform caesarian sections. Even though premature babies weigh less and have smaller bodies than full-term infants, their heads are quite large. When combined with a small body, a large head can make problems during vaginal delivery more likely.
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- The Indiaparenting Team