Pregnant woman in hospital bed with her hand on her belly

What is Cephalopelvic Disproportion?

Understanding the Complications of Cephalopelvic Disproportion

Thankfully, most baby deliveries happen without complications, and mom and baby go home happy and healthy. However, it’s critical to understand the risks and warning signs that could point to problems in the delivery room. Cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD) means a disparity between a baby’s size and a mother’s pelvis that can make it difficult for the baby to pass through the birth canal.

Read on to learn the risk factors and warning signs of CPD.

Risk Factors of CPD

Some of the most common risk factors of CPD are:

  • Gestational Diabetes: When gestational diabetes causes macrosomia (a condition that causes a baby to grow larger than 8 pounds 13 ounces during any gestational stage), a baby can have difficulties passing through the birth canal.
  • Narrow Pelvis: Before giving birth, doctors should assess the size of the mother’s pelvis. If a mother’s pelvis is too small or narrow, there could be a higher chance of CPD.
  • Post-Term Baby: Typically, a full-term pregnancy lasts between 39 and 41 weeks. Babies are post-term at 42 weeks or more. Since post-term babies will grow larger, this increases the risk of CPD.

Warning Signs of CPD

When in the delivery room, doctors should pay special attention to the following warning signs of CPD:

  • Prolonged labor - When labor fails to progress or lasts longer than 18 to 24 hours after contractions begin.
  • Fetal distress - A baby can be put in fetal distress when not receiving enough oxygen or labor is difficult.
  • High levels of amniotic fluid - Too much amniotic fluid causes the uterus to enlarge.
  • Large fundal height - Fundal height is the distance from a mother’s pubic bone to the top of the uterus. A large fundal height can indicate a baby is too large for its gestational age.

CPD can lead to birth injuries such as cerebral palsy, hypoxic brain damage, and shoulder dystocia.

Learn Your Legal Options After a Birth Injury. Contact Dolt, Thompson, Shepherd & Conway, PSC

At Dolt, Thompson, Shepherd & Conway, PSC, we help parents get the compensation they need to provide for their children who suffered a birth injury— now and for their future care. In addition to seeking compensation, our birth injury attorneys can help parents set up trusts and establish caregivers to ensure the child has the necessary means to be cared for throughout their life. Let us help your family through this difficult time.

Call (502) 242-8872 to speak to one of our lawyers today.

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