Face Presentation Birth & Possible Complications

Face Presentation Birth & Possible Complications

by / Wednesday, 29 January 2020 / Published in Birth Trauma
Baby peacefully sleeping with hands touching

Even in healthy pregnancies, labor and delivery can become complicated for a wide range of reasons. One very common reason that deliveries can become complicated involve the position of the child.

To safely deliver a child, the best position for them to be in is with their head facing down with their chin tucked down toward their chin. When babies are in any other position, it’s very important for doctors to figure out the best route to take to make sure they are delivered safely. For example, when babies are in the breech position, a doctor may be able to move them into a proper position so that complications are less likely to occur during delivery, and in turn, helping reduce the risk of birth trauma. In some cases, a child might be in a position where the neck becomes hyperextended backwards instead of being tucked down toward the chin. This is known as face presentation, which comes with an increased risk of injuries to the child.

When a child is in a face presenting position, there is a chance that the baby could safely be delivered naturally if it’s in what’s known as the mentum anterior face presenting position, which means that the baby’s chin is facing the mother’s abdomen. However, if the baby is in a mentum posterior or mentum transverse face presenting position, a C-section may be needed if the baby doesn’t move into the mentum anterior position on its own during labor.

It’s estimated that face presentation occurs in approximately 1 out of every 600 births. If a child is in a face presenting position, doctors should be able to detect that problem and take appropriate actions to ensure a safe delivery. Ultrasounds can be used to confirm the position of the baby.

If a C-section would be the safest way to deliver a face presenting baby, it’s very important that the doctor take quick action, because a natural delivery can be very risky for the child. Some complications and injuries commonly associated with face presenting deliveries include prolonged labor, birth asphyxia, brachial plexus injuries, Erb’s palsy, facial trauma, respiratory distress, and intracranial hemorrhages. Some of these injuries can potentially have long-term effects like seizure disorders, intellectual disabilities, and developmental delays.

When face presentation is so easy to detect, it’s absolutely tragic that birth injuries are still occuring because of it. Finding out your child has been injured is always deeply upsetting and it’s only natural to have questions about what you should do next. At Goodwin & Scieszka, you’ll be able to get help from a birth trauma lawyer who is experienced in helping people who have been in your position. Contact us today for help with your case.

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