Prolonged Labor and Birth Injury

Everyone has heard stories about women who have gone into labor and spent hours upon hours delivering their babies. But despite the difficulties of such instances, these situations usually still fall within normal birthing times.

However, when a woman’s labor lasts too long, a dangerous medical situation can result for her and the baby. It is important that her attending medical professionals recognize the dangers of prolonged or arrested labor, and take immediate steps to help the woman give birth safely.

Stages of Labor

Medical professionals have long established certain physiological markers, and general time frames, associated with a normal progression of labor. Labor is divided into three stages:

  • In the first stage of labor a woman’s cervix gradually thins out and opens. The cervix continues to dilate and contractions increase in intensity and duration.
  • During the second stage of labor, or the “pushing stage”, the cervix is fully dilated. This state continues until the baby is born.
  • The third stage of labor begins immediately after the birth of the baby and continues until the mother has delivered the placenta.

Risks of Prolonged and Arrested Labor

When such labor milestones are not met as expected, the mother and baby run the risk of suffering from prolonged or arrested labor. These conditions carry serious risks, including:

  • Excessive hemorrhaging and blood loss
  • Fetal distress
  • Increased risk of infection
  • Oxygen deprivation

What is Normal?

A natural question to ask would be “how long can labor last and still be considered normal? The answer to this question may vary from woman to woman. Some new moms have been known to be in labor for up to 20 hours or more, while other women may spend far less time in labor.

Medical professionals have noted that women who have previously given birth vaginally tend to spend less time in labor during subsequent pregnancies.

What Causes Prolonged Labor?

Prolonged and arrested labor generally occurs due to some interruption in the body’s normal physiological birthing process. Some examples of situations that can cause prolonged labor include:

  • Contractions not being strong enough, or not lasting long enough, to dilate the cervix or push the baby through the birth canal.
  • Cervical Dystocia or Stenosis which occurs when the cervix does not dilate properly
  • The baby being incorrectly positioned inside the mother, such as in a breach presentation or face presentation.
  • When the baby’s head is too large to pass through the birth canal

Prolonged Labor Birth Injuries

Though there are a number of causes for prolonged and arrested labor, medical professionals must be familiar with the symptoms and dangers involved with these conditions, and take immediate corrective action to help the mother give birth safely.

An experienced attorney can help you determine whether you were inappropriately treated prolonged labor and whether you suffered an injury and/or whether your baby has a birth injury case. The birth injury attorneys listed in this directory will help you evaluate your case and there is no up-front fee to do so.

Altrumedia About Altrumedia

Altrumedia operates an extensive online network to connect people in need with qualified help and information. Although we specialize in legal web marketing, we can help any business increase traffic and develop new leads. Services include: Web Design, Social Media Marketing, Custom Videos, eNewsletters, Display Ads, Directory Listings, and more.