Research Shows C-Section Delivery Is the Safest Way to Deliver Breech Babies

Modern obstetrical research consistently finds that it is safer to deliver a baby in the breech presentation via C-section delivery than vaginal delivery. One study, which monitored nearly 60,000 mothers pregnant with breech babies, indicated that a breech baby’s risk of fetal demise is ten times greater when delivered vaginally. A more recent Canadian study also proved that delivering full-term breech babies via Cesarean section decreases the chance of neonatal injury.

Throughout this blog post, our Michigan birth injury lawyers will explain breech presentation, C-section delivery, and related birth injuries. If your loved one was diagnosed with permanent injuries or disabilities as the result of a mishandled breech birth or C-section delivery, we encourage you to reach out to our Michigan birth trauma attorneys. Our legal and medical team will provide you with a free case review, determine the cause of your loved one’s injuries, and inform you of your legal options. Should Michigan Cerebral Palsy Attorneys take your case, you will not be charged until we win or settle. You may reach our Michigan birth injury lawyers in any of the following ways:

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What Is Breech Presentation?

When a fetus is in the breech presentation, s/he is positioned in the womb buttocks or feet first (as opposed to the standard vertex presentation in which the baby’s crown presents first through the birth canal). Breech presentation varies slightly from case to case; a breech baby may be positioned in the following four different ways:

  • Kneeling breech: When a baby is in the kneeling breech presentation, one or both of his or her legs fold at the hips and extend at the knees.
  • Frank breech: A baby in the frank breech presentation enters the birth canal buttocks first. In this presentation, the baby’s legs fold at the hips and extend at the knees, with the feet typically placed near the head.
  • Footling breech: In the footling breech presentation, one or both of the baby’s feet present first through the birth canal.
  • Complete breech: In the complete breech presentation, the baby assumes a cross-legged position, with the feet typically next to the buttocks.

Breech presentation

Delivering Breech Babies

C-Sections, Vaginal Delivery and Safety Considerations for Breech Births

Delivering a baby in the breech presentation increases the likelihood of a dangerous, prolonged delivery and fetal oxygen deprivation. Prolonged delivery increases the baby’s chances of suffering hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), a type of neonatal brain injury resulting from oxygen shortages in the baby’s blood and tissues. In many cases, medical professionals will attempt to physically move the baby into the standard vertex presentation by applying specific pressure to the exterior of the mother’s abdominal region. Medical professionals are obligated to ensure that elongated labor and delivery situations do not interfere with the baby’s oxygen intake.

When medical professionals are not able to change the baby’s presentation manually, they must carefully consider whether to deliver vaginally or via C-section. The majority of experts advise C-section delivery for babies in any of the four breech presentations, because C-section delivery is the least likely form of delivery to cause birth injuries in breech babies. Physicians should only permit vaginal delivery if the following requirements are met:

  • The baby is in a frank breech presentation
  • All medical staff are closely paying attention to the fetal heart monitor to ensure the baby is not in distress
  • The medical facility has the proper equipment and resources to perform a timely emergency Cesarean section operation
  • Medical professionals have taken X-rays and ultrasounds in order to ensure that size incompatibilities (cephalopelvic disproportion / CPD) between the mother and fetus do not exist.

Birth Injury and Breech Presentation

Breech Births, Cerebral Palsy (CP), Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE), and Other Injuries

Mishandled breech births often result in dangerous complications and birth injuries. Medical professionals are obligated, according to care standards, to take all necessary precautions to avoid traumatic birth injuries including head trauma, intracranial hemorrhages, fetal oxygen deprivation, and hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). These birth injuries commonly result in lifelong injuries and disabilities such as cerebral palsy (CP), seizure disorders, movement disorders, neurological problems, intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), and even neonatal fatalities. Below, our Michigan birth injury lawyers have listed a few of the more common injuries associated with mishandled breech births.

  • Lawyers for Breech Presentation Injuries | Legal Help in MichiganFetal oxygen deprivation: When breech presentation results in prolonged labor and delivery, a baby’s chances of experiencing oxygen deprivation increase significantly. All medical professionals involved in the delivery are obligated to pay close attention to fetal heart tracings to ensure the baby is not in distress. If non-reassuring fetal heart tracings are present, medical professionals must ensure a speedy delivery, which, in most cases, requires an emergency C-section operation. Fetal oxygen deprivation can result in hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), a dangerous neonatal brain injury that can lead to cerebral palsy (CP), intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), neurological issues, and other permanent injuries and disabilities.
  • Umbilical cord complications: A baby born in the breech presentation has greater chances of experiencing an umbilical cord complication during delivery than a baby in the standard vertex presentation. The two following umbilical cord complications are associated with breech deliveries and can result in dangerous, life-threatening complications and cerebral palsy:
    • Nuchal cords: A nuchal cord occurs when the baby’s umbilical cord wraps around the baby’s neck. Since nuchal cords interfere with the passage of blood and oxygen through the umbilical cord, they can cause hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) and fetal oxygen deprivation. Also, the umbilical cord can wrap around the baby’s neck so tight that blood cannot reach the baby’s brain in the womb. Nuchal cords are more common in babies in breech presentation.
    • Umbilical cord prolapse and umbilical cord compression: Umbilical cord prolapse occurs when the umbilical cord precedes the baby through the birth canal. Umbilical cord prolapse causes umbilical cord compression, which occurs when the cord becomes compressed between the mother and fetus. Umbilical cord compression is characterized by pressure on the cord that partially or fully blocks oxygen and blood flow through the umbilical cord. When umbilical cord compression occurs, medical professionals must deliver the baby swiftly to avoid fetal oxygen deprivation and hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE).
  • Head trauma: In breech births, a baby faces a greater chance of experiencing traumatic head, face, brain, neck, or spinal cord injuries. Manual movement of the baby in the uterus, abnormal passage through the birth canal, and prolonged delivery all pose dangers to a baby during delivery. Traumatic birth injuries like these can cause cerebral palsy and related lifelong disabilities.
  • Delivery assistance tool injuries: Medical professionals may use forceps to aid in the vaginal delivery of a baby in the breech presentation. Forceps are handheld, pronged tools that help deliver babies through the birth canal. Misuse of forceps can damage the baby’s head, spine, or neck and cause brain damage, oxygen deprivation, brain bleeds, cerebral palsy, and other lifelong disabilities.

Michigan Cerebral Palsy Attorneys Handling Cases Related to Breech Births

Legal Help for Injured Breech Babies in Michigan

Michigan Cerebral Palsy Attorneys | Birth Injuries and Breech BirthsAs research continues to investigate the dangers associated with vaginally delivering breech babies, it is critical for physicians and medical professionals to adapt their practices. Only under very specific, unique circumstances should physicians allow breech babies to be delivered vaginally. As it is becoming standard to deliver breech presentation babies via C-section, we encourage you to reflect upon your delivery situation. If your loved one was diagnosed with permanent injuries or disabilities as the result of a mishandled breech presentation delivery, we urge you to reach out for legal help. Michigan Cerebral Palsy Attorneys focuses solely on birth injury cases and has the unique, specific knowledge necessary to win your breech presentation, C-section, or birth injury case.

Contact our Michigan birth injury lawyers today and our legal team will provide you with a free legal consultation. After reviewing your case for free, our birth injury lawyers will answer your questions, determine the cause of your loved one’s injuries, and inform you of your legal options. Please contact Michigan Cerebral Palsy Attorneys in any of the following ways:

Contact our offices by phone toll-free at (888) 592-1857

Complete this online contact form

Press the Live Chat tab to the left of your browser

Contact Our Team

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