What Are Some Possible Complications of Childbirth?

What Are Some Possible Complications of Childbirth?

Many pregnancies proceed smoothly and many women give birth without complications. However, it’s important to know that complications can occur. By educating yourself about the possibilities, you can feel better prepared to cope with any problems that do occur. Don’t be shy about speaking up in the delivery room. If your nurse or Ob/Gyn says something that is unclear to you, you can always ask for clarification.

Breech Position

As babies get ready to be born, they move into a head-down position so that they can exit the uterus with the head first. A breech position means that the baby hasn’t moved into this head-down position in time. It doesn’t occur very often, and when it does occur, doctors can often use external maneuvers to reposition the baby. If this doesn’t work, a C-section is necessary.

Meconium Aspiration

Meconium aspiration is more likely to occur in overdue pregnancies. Meconium is a fecal matter produced in the fetus’ intestines prior to childbirth. Normally, babies will only pass meconium stools after birth for the first few days of life. If the fetus is subjected to stress, it’s possible to pass meconium stools prior to birth. Meconium aspiration occurs when the fecal matter is inhaled into the lungs. It needs immediate treatment after birth. The doctor will suction out the airway. In some cases, the baby may need oxygen therapy and a breathing tube.

Nuchal Cord

A nuchal cord occurs fairly commonly, in about 25% of births. It means that the umbilical cord has wrapped around the infant’s neck. A nuchal cord doesn’t always cause problems. However, if it causes the baby’s heart rate to decline and the baby cannot be born naturally, the doctor may need to use forceps or a vacuum extractor to help the baby find its way out of the birth canal. In some cases, a C-section is necessary.


If you’ve discovered that you’re expecting, you can find assistance at the Care Net Pregnancy Center of Kittitas County. They are located in Ellensburg, WA. You can reach their office at (509) 925-2273.