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Why do birth canal issues arise during labor?

Birth canal issues are serious; they can lead to injuries to your child during the birthing process, and in some instances, put your life in danger. There are several reasons a birth canal issue could arise, but in most circumstances, if your doctor is aware of what's happening, the issues can be taken care of through a Cesarean section or by manipulating the child inside the body.

When are birth canal issues possible?

Sometimes, the issues are a result of unusual bone structures. For instance, if your pelvis is abnormally shaped, your baby may turn when approaching the birth canal. The pelvis may be too narrow, making it impossible for your child to be delivered vaginally.

If your baby presents feet first or in any other form than head first, it can be hard to deliver him or her without assistance. Large babies may also struggle to pass through the canal, but this also depends on how large the birth canal is and several other factors. Not all large babies struggle. Shoulder dystocia is a similar issue where the child's shoulder gets stuck, even though the head is able to pass through the birth canal.

Another reason for birth canal issues are uterine fibroids. These non-cancerous growths can block the birth canal and result in the inability to give birth vaginally. In that case, a cesarean section is required.

Should a doctor recognize these issues ahead of time?

Sometimes, doctors can predict these issues before you go into labor, but other times they must keep a watchful eye on mothers-to-be during labor. In any event, when a baby or mother is in distress, the doctor must move quickly to resolve the issue. Delaying any procedures could result in long-term injuries or death.

Source: Healthline.com, "Difficult Labor: Birth Canal Issues," accessed July 07, 2016

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