What Happens If You Can’t Push the Baby Out?

Having a baby should be a wonderful and magical time for parents, but it can be scary when complications develop. For example, a long delivery can be an exhausting and frightening situation that many mothers wonder, “what happens if we can’t get the baby out?” This scenario is possible and something you must understand before going in for your birth.

Can a Baby Get Stuck in the Birth Canal?

What Happens If You Can't Push the Baby Out?

Yes, your baby could get stuck in your birth canal. There are a few reasons that this may happen. The first is macrosomia, or when your baby is too large for safe vaginal delivery. Doctors often say any baby over nine pounds or more before birth is potentially too large to be delivered.

This all depends on the size of your birth canal and your vaginal cavity. If you have a larger birth canal, you might be safe. Doctors typically carefully test this before deciding on vaginal or c-section delivery. However, even a baby small enough for a safe delivery could get stuck.

For example, a baby may suffer from shoulder dystocia or a problem where their shoulders get stuck behind a mother’s pelvic fan. This may cause the baby to get stuck, and cause pain in both the mother and the baby.

In other cases, the medical professionals may use forceps or vacuum to help the baby, depending on the specifics of the situation.

Are There Dangers of a Baby Being Stuck?

A baby that is stuck in its mother’s birth canal is in danger of serious health problems. They may suffer from fractured skulls, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, nerve damage, spinal cord damage, problems with their shoulder, and even brain damage caused by lack of oxygen.

Lack of oxygen may be the biggest risk here and occurs because the baby is attempting to transition off of its mother’s supply during birth. It can cause lifelong health problems, including slowed cognitive development and even physical injuries that may impact the baby’s adulthood.

However, medical professionals will guide you through the birthing process to ensure everyone’s health and well-being. They analyze the situation carefully, often with heartbeat monitors for baby and mom, as well as helping to understand contractions to prevent these types of situations.

What Do Doctors Do Before a C-Section?

When a baby is stuck in the birth canal, doctors can perform several distinct steps to help. This includes using birth devices, like vacuum extractors and forceps. These tools include the risk of some birth injuries, such as sucking too hard on a baby’s head with the vacuum and causing some damage. Forceps may also slip and cause some injuries, which may be preferable to oxygen-related brain death.

As a result, your doctor will talk to you about this choice before deciding to use them. They may prefer doing this step to a c-section first because of the invasive nature of that surgery. Or they may try to let you push the baby out naturally and hope that it comes eventually. They rarely want to wait too long because the longer they wait, the more potential injury a baby will likely experience.

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How Long Can You Push During Labor Before Having a C-Section?

What Happens If You Can't Push the Baby Out?

There’s no real hard and fast rule for how long a doctor waits before doing a c-section or performing other steps. Delivery can last many hours, and even three-hour births (particularly with a first-time mother) are not uncommon. Some may even go longer, depending on the child.

Doctors typically let a mother continue pushing as long as she is making progress and she and the child are okay. If the mother shows signs of excessive physical pain outside of normal labor suffering or the baby shows signs of distress, it might be time to get a c-section.

This typically occurs when the doctors notice the baby is no longer moving or when its heart rate elevates or starts moving in the canal. In this situation, a doctor will likely choose a c-section as the safest and most effective way of delivering a baby that’s otherwise stuck.

Are There Dangers in a C-Section?

Any time a body is opened up surgically, there are risks. C-sections have become a much safer and more effective delivery method with minimal risks. However, mothers may be at risk for blood loss, infections, and even death during an open c-section surgery. Thankfully, this risk is minimized as much as possible.

Some women may experience temporary side effects after a c-section, including decreased bowel function, increased deep vein thrombosis risk, a potential for a longer hospital stay, and a potential decrease in fertility. In some cases, babies may have breathing problems or lower Apgar scores, though these risks are also rare and can be avoided through careful preparation.

How to Prepare For Birth

What Happens If You Can't Push the Baby Out?

Many expectant parents write out a birth plan. It can be as simple as the mother’s preferences for pain relief during labor and delivery, or include complex options, such as which visitors are allowed in the room when, and what conditions the parents will consider a c-section or similar assistance.

Related posts on preparing for the coming of your baby:

WRAP UP- What happens if you can’t push the baby out?

What Happens If You Can't Push the Baby Out?

Many expecting parents share this same concern. However, the doctors, nurses, and midwives are experienced professionals who will help guide you through the birth process. Whether that is coaching you through pushing the baby out, or taking another route, such as a c-section, they will do what is best for the mother and baby’s health and well-being.

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