Welcoming your first child into the world is an exciting time. But things do not always go as planned in the delivery room. Infant injuries during birth are rare, but they do happen.
Know the risks of childbirth, and ask your OB-GYN these questions before your big day.
Will your doctor induce labor?
A pregnancy is full-term when it has reached 40 weeks. Many physicians will allow a pregnancy to progress until 42 weeks, at which point they will induce labor. Fetuses that remain in the womb too long run into risks like infection or problems with the placenta. Additionally, overdue babies will continue to grow. Larger infants lead to a higher risk of complications for both mother and baby.
Does your doctor use forceps?
Babies may have trouble exiting the birth canal on their own. In these instances, doctors may use forceps or vacuums to help pull them out. Metal forceps may cause facial cuts, bruising or even skull fractures.
Could you need a C-section?
Many deliveries result in Caesarian sections for a variety of reasons. Though physical injuries during a C-section are rare, they do occur. Babies may suffer cuts, broken bones or bruising. The most common complication from the procedure is oxygen deprivation. If the medical team waits too long to start emergency surgery, the unborn baby may go without oxygen which could cause brain damage.
When you understand the risks of giving birth, you will know the right questions to ask in preparation for your newborn’s arrival.