Labor is divided into three stages:
- First Stage:
- Second Stage:
- Third Stage:
In first time mothers, labor is considered "prolonged" when the first and second stages last more than 18 hours. One cause for prolonged labor is malpresentation, such as when the fetus presents breech. Another cause is cephalopelvic disproportion, which is when the fetal head is larger than the size of the maternal birth canal (usually causing fetal head molding). Other causes include problems with uterine contractions, anesthesia (i.e., an epidural) and cervical stenosis.
Signs and symptoms of a prolonged labor include labor beyond 18 hours, maternal exhaustion, back pain, high pulse rate, tender uterus; and ketosis. Risks to mother and baby due to prolonged labor include:
- intrauterine infection;
- post partum hemorrhaging;
- fetal distress (accels or decels);
- hypoxia, ischemia and asphyxia; and
- intracranial hemorrhaging.
To discuss your case or concerns with an experienced Central New York medical malpractice and birth injury attorney, contact us now at (315) 422-3466, (800) 336-LAWS, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.