What Are the Complications of the Second Stage of Labor?

In an ideal world, the moment your contractions are a few minutes apart and your water breaks, you would have your baby as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, this isn’t always what happens during the labor process.

This stage of labor can be drawn out for hours or even more than a day. Your birth history, whether or this is your first baby, if you’ve had a cesarean in the past, or how far along you are in your pregnancy can also impact how long you are in labor.

The longer your labor lasts, the greater the chance of complications occurring. Doctors and most mothers prefer for children to be born naturally, so they will let labor go for a while, including into the second stage. However, without proper precautions and a wary eye, complications can arise.

Complications of Second Stage of Labor

Some of the most common complications associated with the second stage of labor include maternal infection, hematomas (bruising), and urinary retention. In addition to these, there can also be a wide range of mental and emotional issues that the mother goes through during this process.

Of course, the mother isn’t the only person involved in the birthing process. The second stage of labor can also take a toll on the unborn baby. Some of the issues that might arise for the child include the following:

Fetal Distress

The longer the baby is held in the womb, the greater the chance that they could suffer from an irregular heartbeat and issues with muscle tone and the ability to move. If amniotic fluids are allowed to get too low, this could also lead to fetal distress.

Perinatal Asphyxia

This term refers to the inability for your baby to get oxygen. This can occur at any stage of the labor process, but the risks increase the longer you are in labor. Your baby not getting enough oxygen can lead to a wide range of issues, including brain damage, organ malfunction, and even death.

Excessive Bleeding

Another thing you have to worry about when you are in the second stage of labor is an increased risk of bleeding. On average, women can lose 500 ml of blood during a normal pregnancy. This can occur within 24 hours after delivery or up to 12 weeks later if there is secondary bleeding.

Bleeding occurs after the placenta is expelled. If uterine contractions are too weak due to exhaustion, this means that the blood vessels won’t be compressed, which can lead to excessive bleeding. The results could be low blood pressure, the failure of your organs, shock, or even death.

Dealing with Complications of the Second Stage of Labor

In a perfect world, you wouldn’t have to think about or worry about complications that might arise when it comes to the second stage of labor. Advancements of medical science have reduced the traumas and issues that can result from the second stage of labor, but medical professionals are still not able to prevent them entirely.

There can be numerous reasons you may have had complications during the birthing process, including medical malpractice. If that’s the case, you might want to visit this link to find out if you are entitled to birth injury compensation by speaking with an attorney.

If you have concerns about labor, speaking with a medical professional can help calm your fears. If you’ve suffered from trauma due to a difficult second stage of labor, speaking with a mental health provider might be in your best interest. A baby’s birth is a joyous occasion, but sometimes things go wrong. Getting the help you need can help you move forward after a difficult birth.


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