How to overcome labor and delivery complications?

As the labor and delivery date comes closer even the strongest and calmest mother- to- be experiences  some anxiety and fear.  This time is a part of the excitement, part anticipation and part of the fear that is unknown. But there are definitely some real concerns.

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Complications during labor and delivery

A smooth pregnancy period till the last term can also develop certain problems at the time of delivery.

  • Premature delivery is the greatest danger for the baby who is born before the complete development… A delivery before 37 weeks is considered a premature delivery. The lungs may be weak to breathe properly and there can be respiratory problems.  The digestive system also does not function properly.
  • Prolonged Labor for a very long time can be at a risk to the mother as well as the baby. There can be chances of certain infections if the amniotic sac remains ruptured for long.
  • Abnormal Presentation of the baby is at risk to the baby. The normal position at birth is with the head down facing the mother’s back and pushing its way out of the vagina.
  • Some babies have their feet downwards. This is called a breech presentation  which are of different types which include
  • Frank breech in which the baby buttocks lead the way into the pelvis. The complete breech position is when both the knees and hips are flexed and the feet enter the birth canal.
  • Incomplete breech presentation is when one or both feet come ahead.
  • Transverse breech is the position when the baby lies horizontally in the uterus and the shoulder leads the way.

Common labor and delivery complications

During labor the membranes surrounding the baby in the uterus breaks and releases amniotic fluid. It can also occur right before the delivery or during labor. The premature rupture of membranes means that these membranes have ruptured too early in pregnancy, meaning prior to the onset of labor. It can expose the baby to a high risk of infection.

Umbilical cord prolapse

This is your baby’s most important part and is a lifeline. Because, the umbilical cord and placenta is that you pass oxygen and other nutrients from your body to your baby. It can slip through the cervix after your water breaks, preceding the baby into the birth canal. The cord can even come out of the vagina, which is a dangerous situation because the blood flow through the umbilical cord and can become blocked. You may feel that the cord in the birth canal if it prolapses, and may see the cord if it comes out of your vagina.

Umbilical cord compression

Because the fetus moves and flows inside the uterus, the umbilical cord can wrap and unwrap itself around the baby many times throughout the pregnancy. But, the cord gets twisted around and harms the baby, this is extremely rare and can’t be prevented. Sometimes the umbilical cord gets stretched and compressed at the time of labor. It may lead to a decrease in blood flow to the fetus and cause short drops in fetal heart rate called variable decelerations.

Amniotic fluid embolism

In this case, a small amount of amniotic fluid that surrounds the fetus in the uterus, and enters the mother’s bloodstream, usually during a particularly difficult labor. The fluid travels to the lungs and cause the arteries in the lungs to constrict. It results in a rapid heart rate, irregular heart rhythm, collapse, shock, or even cardiac arrest and death.

Preeclampsia

This is a complication of pregnancy that involves high blood pressure develops after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Preeclampsia lead to premature detachment of the placenta from the uterus, maternal seizure, or stroke.

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Uterine bleeding

You can see excessive bleeding from the uterus, cervix, or vagina after a baby is delivered which is called as postpartum hemorrhage. It results when the contractions of the uterus after delivery are impaired and the blood vessels are opened when the placenta detached from the wall of the uterus continue to bleed. It can be due to cervical or vaginal lacerations.

Post term pregnancy

Post term pregnancy is beyond 41 – 42 weeks and is problematic, if the placenta can no longer provide enough nourishment to maintain a healthy environment for the baby.

Facing Labor and Delivery Fears—control of pain

There are some calming medicines for pain to make the torture of delivery easier. These medicines are safe and their impact on the baby is very mild. It simply makes the baby sleep more after coming into the world.

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Patterned breathing can also help in controlling pain. This is learn ahead by attending few childbirth classes that focus on labor breathing.

A professional labor support team can also help in controlling labor pain.  This support can be from a relative, midwife, nurse or friend.

Labor and Delivery: Fear of an Epidural

Epidural is a process conducted to reduce the pain of labor. Many women are afraid of the procedure of epidural and its side effects. Experts claim that there is hardly any long term complication in this process. Short term complications include spinal headaches.

Labor and Delivery: Fear of a C-Section

It is a matter of choice for mother’s to select the Caesarian method of delivery. But most women still fear this and would try their level best to avoid it. Most women worry about the recovery time after a cesarean.

There is a very low risk in undergoing the cesarean method of delivery. Doctor’s suggest this operation when there is a risk of health for the mother or the baby in a normal vaginal delivery.

One of the common reasons for an unplanned cesarean is that the baby is too big or the baby is in an abnormal position or the cervix is not getting dilated properly.

Overcoming the Fear

  • It is difficult for most women to have complete peace of mind before delivery. The following ideas may help the women facing a path to a calm delivery.
  • One must read, discuss and educate one’s self with most complications that are possible during labor and delivery.
  • The feelings of anxiety must be overcome by taking a deep breath.  Deep breathing and self-hypnosis are the best ways to ease tension and reduce worry.
  • It is better to ignore the horror stories narrated by other people. Believing in these stories only adds to the anxiety.
  • Connecting to the baby in the womb gives the mother a feeling satisfaction.
  • They would be the mother will be more relaxed and happy on making preparation for the coming baby. It is fun to buy toys, clothes, furniture for the baby.
  • Joining prenatal classes will help in preparing the mom to face the different complications of pregnancy and give relief from worries.

Conclusion– A good education, help, professional guidance and mental relaxation will help in coping with anxiety and complications of pregnancy

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