Breech Birth and Cerebral Palsy

If all goes well, the position in which your baby will be born is head first. But in a significant number of births, the baby is situated in his mother’s uterus in a so-called “breech presentation”. That is to say that the baby is positioned such that he will likely emerge feet or buttocks first. Compared to “normal” presentation, breech presentation can be relatively dangerous.

Unlike in earlier times, modern medical professionals now have the knowledge and skill to help women safely deliver babies who are aligned in a breech presentation. But, despite these medical advances, physicians and attending medical professionals still make mistakes. Such mistakes can be extremely dangerous, and can potentially lead to permanent consequences for the baby. (Learn more about birth injury lawsuits.)

Types of Breech Birth

There are three breech birth positions, including:

Footling Breech – This orientation occurs when the baby enters into the birth canal with one or both feet pointed into the birth canal. In such cases the feet usually emerge first.

Frank Breech – This is the most commonly described orientation when someone refers to a “breech birth”. In a Frank breech the baby emerges buttocks first, with his or her body doubled over and feet pressed against the head.  

Complete Breech – In the complete breech position the baby also emerges buttocks first, but his or her legs are more crossed, rather than extended towards the head such as in a Frank breech. In the incomplete breech position one of the legs is bent at the knee while the other is extended as in a Frank breech.

The Dangers Associated with Breech Birth

The dangers associated with babies born in breech position are dependent on multiple factors, including the child’s size, the duration of labor and the childbirth process, and whether or not the child begins to experience symptoms of fetal distress.

Because children born in breech position are at increased risk for complications, physicians must properly screen women to determine when this condition is occurring. Sometimes they must take corrective steps to mitigate the risks of a breech birth, including performing an emergency cesarean.

Breech Birth and Cerebral Palsy

One of the most significant dangers associated with breech birth is the risk that, due to medical errors or negligence, the baby may suffer from significant birth injuries.

Such injuries, including those leading to cerebral palsy, may result when attending medical professionals fail to:

  • Screen the  mother for signs of a potential breech presentation
  • Monitor the baby as the birthing process continues
  • Immediately and effectively treat symptoms of fetal distress
  • Perform a cesarean when necessary

Birth Injury Compensation

If your child was born with a significant birth injury, such as cerebral palsy, he or she may have been the victim of medical negligence or malpractice. The financial and psychological toll related to caring for a disabled child can be substantial.

Contact a birth injury attorney in your area today for an evaluation of your case. You may be entitled to significant compensation.