Jan 28, 2011 1 Comment
The ideal position for your baby to be born is with its head lying down with its back against your abdomen. This way it has less distance to rotate in the birth canal. Sometimes a baby is in an abnormal position which can make birth more complicated, but this does not necessarily mean that it can’t be born in the normal way.
An occipito posterior position means that the baby is lying with its back towards you back and, if its fails to turn, will be delivered normally, but will be born face up. This way of lying often leads to a long, backaching labour.
In a deep transverse arrest, the baby’s head partially rotates in the birthcanal and then becomes stuck with its face towards one side. The baby will need to be helped out. This can sometimes also happen if you push too hard by mistake in the second stage of labour.
Disproportion means that the baby’s head is too big for your pelvis. A scan will be done to decide whether there is enough room for a normal delivery to take place. If there isn’t , your baby will probably be born by Cesarean.
Breech Birth. A small number of babies don’t turn around in the last weeks of pregnancy. This means that their feet or bottom would come out first so the birth canal will not have been stretched enough when the head, the largest part of the baby’s body, is ready to be born. Doctors have different opinions about the best way of delivering a breech baby; some insist that a Cesarean is the safest method, others believe that birth should take place under an epidural, and some thin that if the mother remains mobile throughout the first stage of labour the baby will get itself into a good position for birth. It may then be helped out with forceps or by vacuum extraction.
Forceps Delivery. In a forceps delivery, your legs will be put up in stirrups and then the forceps, which are like a pair of large, shallow metal spoons, will be inserted into the vagina and cupped around the baby’s head. The doctor help the baby out while you push.
Vacuum Extraction. Vacuum extraction (ventouse) is sometimes used instead of the forceps method. With this technique the doctor places a suction cup on the baby’s head and the baby is sucked out as you push down with each contraction.
If the birth canal is not going to be big enough for the baby’s head and there is a risk that the perineum may tear, a small cut is made in this area under local anaesthetic. This type of incision is called an episiotomy and is stitched after the birth, again under local anaesthetic.
Fetal Monitoring. This keeps a check on the unborn baby’s heartbeat during labour and birth. Monitoring can be done the low-tech way by simply placing a stethoscope against the patient’s abdomen, or through electronic fetal monitoring (EFM).
There are two types of EFM and they both give a continuous readout of the baby’s heart and uterine contractions; if the EFM method is used then you are having a high-tech birth.