Can Childbirth Complications Be Avoided? 6 Things that Can Go Wrong During Delivery

Posted March 15, 2022 by in Health + Fitness

Birth injuries happen often, and 7 out of 1000 children suffer from them. The main reasons behind a birth injury are medical malpractice, medical negligence, and the mother’s poor health. However, by taking careful steps and precautions, chances of birth injuries and complications can be reduced. So, the newborn child can lead a healthy and normal life. 

It is a fact that most birth injuries heal themselves within a few days. However, in severe cases, birth injuries can also lead to disability. That’s why it is necessary to lower risk factors by choosing an experienced doctor and taking all precautions. 

This article will discuss things that can go wrong during delivery and how you can avoid risks of birth injuries. Keep reading for all facts.

Let’s begin! 

Crop of woman holding her newborn baby in the hospital

Can Birth Injuries Be Avoided?

You cannot avoid every possibility of a birth injury because numerous factors are involved during childbirth. That’s why luck also plays its part during every delivery. However, you can reduce risks by taking the following steps.

  • Exercise daily during pregnancy, and make sure to choose safe practices that do not complicate your pregnancy.
  • Do pelvic floor exercises to build strength in your pelvic muscles.
  • Consume a starch-rich diet to avoid constipation—unusual bowel movements can weaken your pelvic muscles.
  • Do not spend more than necessary time on the toilet. It’ll strain your muscles.
  • Cesarean delivery can avoid birth injuries. But it also comes with several other risks and puts your life at stake.

Erb’s palsy happens due to preventable birth injuries, and the delivery staff is almost always responsible for it. If your child suffers from Erb’s palsy, you are entitled to get compensation. So, consult an Erb’s palsy lawyer and get your case reviewed.  

Things That Can Go Wrong During Delivery

Numerous things can go wrong during labor. Here are the most common ones.

  1. Progress Failure

The most common thing that can go wrong is labor that fails to progress or lasts longer than expected. Prolonged labor—when labor lasts for more than 14 hours—can happen due to several factors such as stiffness of the cervix muscle, poor dilation or blockage in the birth canal that stops the descent of the infant. 

Doctors use specific medicines to increase the speed of delivery. If medicines do not produce results, doctors choose to do a cesarean to save the mother from prolonged pain. However, the cesarean procedure also puts the mother’s life at risk because excessive bleeding can lead to a fatality. 

  1. Fetal Distress

Fetal distress indicates that infant is having problems in the placenta which can occur due to several reasons—prolonged labor being one. Such a condition can include several things, such as:

  • Poor heartbeat of the infant
  • Problems in muscles
  • Not enough amniotic fluid

The above conditions in the fetus can occur due to several factors. Some examples are:

  • Not enough oxygen
  • Maternal anemia
  • Hypertension in the mother
  • Growth delays
  • Meconium-stained amniotic fluid

Fetus distress is most likely to happen in pregnancies over 42 weeks. The following strategies help to reduce fetus distress.

  • Using different mother’s position
  • Increasing hydration
  • Providing oxygen to the mother
  • Using fluid to reduce stress on the umbilical cord
  • Intravenous hypertonic dextrose

Doctors can also suggest cesarean delivery in some cases.

  1. Perinatal Asphyxia

When the mother fails to breathe properly during delivery, asphyxia can occur—which can also happen after childbirth. The main reason is always the poor supply of oxygen. Perinatal asphyxia can happen due to the following reasons.

  • Low oxygen levels
  • Too much carbon dioxide
  • Acidity in the blood

Doctors can judge whether the mother will suffer from perinatal asphyxia by following symptoms.

  • Poor skin color
  • Poor heart rate
  • Weak muscles
  • Gasping
  • Poor breathing patterns
  • Meconium-stained amniotic fluid

Doctors treat perinatal asphyxia by providing oxygen supply or cesarean procedure.

  1. Shoulder Dystocia

It is not a common problem, but it can happen with first-time mothers. Shoulder dystocia is a condition when the infant’s head comes out of the vagina, but the shoulders remain inside. Doctors use several techniques, such as turning the mother into a different position, changing the position of the baby, or opting for a C-section. 

Shoulder dystocia accounts for half of the cesarean deliveries in hospitals.

  1. Abnormal Heart Rate

Doctors perform several tests before the delivery to find out the infant’s heart rate. If the heart is not beating regularly, C-section or emergency medicines are used to speed up delivery or do an episiotomy to increase the size of the vagina opening.

  1. Excessive Bleeding

Heavy bleeding starts if the delivery causes tears in the uterus. Excessive bleeding is also the leading cause of death in mothers during and after childbirth. In such a case, doctors use misoprostol to stop the bleeding immediately.


Now, you know the most common things that can go wrong during labor. If you want to avoid complications during the delivery, exercise during pregnancy, maintain bowel movements, eat a healthy diet, and choose an experienced delivery team to prevent any last minute complications.