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The Risks of Abnormal Fetal Positions

Apr 17, 2019 | Birth Injuries, Firm News, Medical Malpractice, Pregnancy-Related Injuries

Medical negligence is the primary cause of most birth injuries in Indiana and across the country. However, sometimes birth injuries result from other risk factors. One of those risk factors is if the child is in an abnormal position before or during delivery.

There are various causes for different fetal positions, including the amount of amniotic fluid in the womb or even multiple previous births. Regardless of what caused the abnormal position, babies and mothers alike could face severe complications during birth.

Long-term injuries from abnormal positions

Fetuses are usually in the cephalic presentation before delivery. In this position, the baby’s head is before the birth canal with the chin tucked into their chest. Any other position—from breech positions to transverse positions—could leave children at serious risk of a wide variety of birth injuries, including:

  • Broken bones
  • Shoulder dystocia
  • Fractured spinal cords
  • Head and brain trauma
  • Cerebral palsy

Different positions could result in different birth injuries than the ones listed here. However, many birth injuries from abnormal fetal positions are preventable in most cases.

Doctors are still responsible for a safe delivery

Doctors should be able to determine the position of the fetus before delivery through ultrasounds. Therefore, they should be prepared to create a strategy that will safely deliver the baby and protect the mother. For example, there are ways to turn a fetus, so that it is in cephalic presentation. A C-section is also an option to deliver a baby if medical professionals cannot alter the position. However, no matter what position the baby is in, doctors still have a duty to provide a high standard of care to both mother and child.