Prolonged labour: How long can a baby be in the birth canal?

A prolonged labour process can be harmful for both the mother and the child. A baby that stays for too long inside of the birth canal can experience harm, and it may be difficult to extract. While first-time mothers typically take longer to deliver their babies, even mothers who have already given birth can have slow deliveries, too.

A timely delivery is important to ensuring the health of the mother and child, and knowing what to expect from a delivery can alert you to problems with the process itself or the care you are receiving.

How Long Is a Baby Normally in the Birth Canal?

While there aren’t exact numbers on how long a normal delivery should take, often a baby will remain in the birth canal for around 30 minutes. However, this process can take just a few minutes in some instances, while others can take several hours. During prolonged labour, both the mother and child are subjected to heightened risk of injury.

What Causes Longer Deliveries?

A doctor can identify what the problem is if you experience trouble while giving birth and recommend the right course of action to remedy the problem. If they fail to do so, they could be liable for any birth injuries that you or your child suffer. Visit this website to read the latest news about birth injuries.

A baby can take a long time to traverse the birth canal for several reasons. Some of these include:

  • A narrow birth canal
  • The size of the baby
  • The baby is in an abnormal position
  • The mother has weak contractions

How Can a Doctor Speed Up Delivery?

A doctor might speed up the delivery process by simply having the mother take some time to relax and re-collect her strength. It’s easy for mothers to become tired during the labour process and have weaker contractions as it goes on. Should this fail, they may also give the mother Pitocin, or oxytocin, to enhance the contractions and to speed them up. If either of these fail, the doctor may recommend an emergency C-section to remove the child.

What Are the Risks of Prolonged Labour?

Prolonged labour brings many risks for the mother and child. Both can face temporary or permanent health problems, and, in some instances, death.

The Mother

Mothers in prolonged labour face a heightened risk that they will require a C-section, which has a longer recovery period than a natural birth. It may also leave behind scarring, and it can cause major blood loss and potentially organ damage. The mother is also at risk for infection or damage to the birth canal. She also becomes at risk for postpartum hemorrhaging.

The Child

A child who becomes stuck in the mother’s birth canal is at risk of neonatal asphyxiation. They also become at risk of infection, and they can have an irregular heartbeat. They’re also at risk of intracranial hemorrhage as the passage through the birth canal deforms their head. The child may also suffer from sepsis or die from an extended period of being in the birth canal.

If you or your child were harmed by prolonged delivery, it may have been caused by a doctor’s mistake, either by failing to diagnose the issue, mismanaging delivery, or failing to order a C-section in time. If you believe this was the case, a birth injury lawyer can identify any evidence that indicates medical malpractice or neglect on the part of your care providers.

A prolonged delivery that was due to the decisions made by your doctor can have life-long effects on your child that lowers their quality of life and earnings potential. If your baby’s injury never should have happened, holding the doctor or medical facility responsible can give you the settlement you need to get your child the care they need.

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