The birth of a new baby is typically a happy, exciting time in a family’s life. However, sometimes complications arise during labor and delivery that can cause lasting health and development issues for the baby. In addition to the typical new parent worries, these families now have to face the uncertain future of their children. One common issue that can lead to a birth injury is a breech delivery.
What Is a Breech Delivery?
Babies are typically born headfirst. A breech delivery occurs when the baby’s bottom or feet are delivered first. This type of delivery occurs in 1 out of every 25 births. It is a difficult delivery for the mother and can lead to serious complications with the baby if not handled properly. There are three types of breech positions:
- Complete – In this presentation, the baby’s legs are flexed at the knees, with the feet near the bottom.
- Frank – This type comprises the majority of breech presentations. The baby’s bottom comes out first, with the legs flexed so the child’s feet are near his ears.
- Footling – The baby’s feet are pointed down and will deliver first in this type of breech presentation. Footling breech is a rare occurrence with full-term babies, but is more common in premature deliveries.
What Should Be Done If a Baby Is Breech
Today, breech deliveries are rare. Often, providers will schedule a caesarean section to safely deliver the baby before his or her due date. There are situations, however, in which breech deliveries are attempted, whether by the mother’s choice or when providers do not realize the baby is in a breech position.
Physicians may also attempt to turn a breech baby in utero, through a procedure known as external cephalic version (ECV). Firm pressure is applied to the uterus to effectively push the baby into a head-down position. Ultrasound is used to monitor the baby during the procedure, which is typically performed close to a delivery room. If the baby does not tolerate the ECV and begins to exhibit signs of distress, a C-section is typically performed.
Complications of a Breech Delivery
When a baby is delivered vaginally in a breech position, the complication rate is higher than that of the average delivery. Some of the noted dangers of a breech delivery include:
- Umbilical cord prolapses
- Placental separation
- Head entrapment
- Shoulder dystocia
The issues can cause the oxygen and blood flow to the baby to be interrupted, leading to further complicated health issues such as cerebral palsy.
Sometimes, these complications cannot be avoided, despite the best attempts by medical providers. Other times, however, physicians and hospitals fail to respond appropriately or quickly enough to a baby’s needs, leading to irreversible damage and a lifetime of medical needs.
If your baby was delivered in a breech position and now suffers from health issues or developmental delays, you may be entitled to make a claim. Contact the experienced legal team at the Tapella & Eberspacher Law Firm at (217) 394-5885 to discuss your case today.