For any expecting mother, one of the most defining moments of a pregnancy is when her water breaks and she sets off the hospital to deliver her baby. The labor process can go on for hours, and most often, everything is expected to go smoothly.
Unfortunately, there are certain complications that can result in prolonged labor, also known as failure to progress. This is when the labor lasts for longer than 20 hours for first-time mothers, or more than 14 hours for mothers who have given birth previously. Understanding prolonged labor and the potential problems is extremely important.
What Problems Result In Prolonged Labor?
Labor may be prolonged for numerous reasons, including but not limited to the following:
- Slow dilation: If the cervix does not dilate as quickly as needed to start the delivery, it may require actions to try and speed up the process. There may also be need for additional actions to help deliver the baby using emergency tactics.
- Baby is too large: Whether the baby is too large for the birthing canal or the mother’s birthing canal or pelvis is too small, this can cause the labor to last longer than it should. Most often, this results in the need for emergency cesarean section which should be done in a timely matter.
- Breech baby: If the baby is in breech position (his or her feet are facing downwards), this can cause a delay. The doctor can try to reposition the baby, but waiting for too long can be problematic.
How Prolonged Labor Can Be Dangerous
If the labor lasts for an extended amount of time, it can cause fetal distress. Many times, this involves lack of oxygen supply to the baby’s brain, change in heart rate, and other potential problems. This requires the doctor to perform an emergency cesarean section.
If this is not performed quickly enough, the baby may suffer significant birth injuries as a result.
At Brown & Barron, we recognize the various dangers that exist when labor is prolonged. Both the mother and baby are at significant risk and if the doctor does not act in a timely manner, serious harm can occur.
Our Baltimore birth injury attorneys work hard to represent families in difficult times. It’s our goal to guide you through the complex legal process and focus on you and your baby in the pursuit of justice and compensation.
If your baby suffered a birth injury due to doctor negligence, discuss your potential case with our firm by calling us at (410) 698-1717 today.