Labor dystocia is very important and should be a part of conversation during any prenatal or obstetric care.
This very specific pregnancy health topic is a crucial part of appropriate prenatal and potential pregnancy and labor experience care that every woman should be aware of. Not every pregnancy will experience labor dystocia. However, for those who may be prone or those who have experienced this condition, this information is for you.
What Is Labor Dystocia?
Labor dystocia is a fancy name for an obstructed, abnormally slow or difficult childbirth. In other words, it represents unusual hardship during child birth efforts. The scientific name sounds quite scary and exceptional. The potential of danger to mother and child, however, is what makes it a very real and serious health-risk condition that must be closely monitored during all stages of pregnancy.
Examples of Labor Dystocia
Labor dystocia is represented by problems occurring during labor and/or childbirth stages. Each personal experience is slightly different from the next. Some possibilities that constitute labor dystocia include the following:
- Abnormally slow dilation of the cervix
- Abnormally slow fetal descent during active labor
- Shoulder dystocia, or the condition when fetal shoulders struggle to emerge or become obstructed after the head has passed through the birth canal
Risk Factors to Know
While labor dystocia occurs for a variety of reasons, it is helpful to know what factors might be connected. This information is beneficial for women wanting to become pregnant, as well as those who are currently pregnant.
- The condition in nulliparous women, or women who have never given birth, leads to more than 50 percent of cesarean deliveries.
- Maternal obesity places excess strain on both mother and child. It is recommended that a woman’s body weight and body fat index be appropriate for her height and controlled before conception and during pregnancy.
- While shoulder dystocia may not be completely avoidable, maternal obesity stands as a serious risk factor that can be avoided.
- Pre-pregnancy diabetes, which also may create weight concerns, should be closely monitored.
- Gestational diabetes, or diabetes during pregnancy, is also a risk factor.
Preventive Management May Help
Pregnancy is a very delicate period in a woman’s life and body. There are measures that may be taken with a physician’s approval to reinforce a stronger, healthier labor and delivery. Personal care cannot be stressed enough for the health of mother and child. These important steps will offer more assuredness when the active stage of labor begins and hospital admission is actually needed.
- They say it takes a village to raise a child. Begin building a strong, pre-delivery village foundation by working with a trained labor support nurse or trainer who can assist with proper pregnancy guidance strategies, exercise and care.
- Control weight with the help of a physician, professional nutritionist or other professional who is proficient in the study of obstetric care.
Labor Dystocia Treatments
The best treatments for dystocia begin with excellent ongoing pre-natal care and attention to detail. Include family medical histories, personal medical history and suggestions mentioned above. These efforts offer peace of mind and a healthier foundation before, during and after pregnancy.
If labor dystocia is imminent, or present at time of delivery, more aggressive solutions may be necessary. Fetal size or position are two components that play a role in the expeditious treatment plan.
Proper diagnosis is necessary to determine the safest and most appropriate medical response to dystocia. This can be achieved by examination and ultrasound testing. Reinforcement treatments of labor strategies include physical repositioning of the fetus and operative vaginal delivery.
On a concluding note, pregnancy is an amazing and powerful gift. Give yourself the deserved permission to be the strong and beautiful woman you are who loves her body and her unborn child. This is your special time!