Jay Goldberg (Obstetrician/Gynecologist, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center) gives expert video advice on: What are the chances that I may have complications during childbirth?; What if my baby is not in the normal position during birth?
What are the chances that I may have complications during childbirth?
Complications arise in pregnancy, in labor, in delivery and in recovery, and the best thing for you to do is to just trust in your physician. Your physician should be confident and capable in treating any complications. Its probably not a good idea for your physician to detail each potential complication because I think that will create undue worry in you or unnecessary worry whereas if you didn't know and a complication arose, but you felt like your physician was communicative and knowledgeable they would handle it and discuss with youthe complication occurring.
What if my baby is not in the normal position during birth?
If you present to your physician's office beyond about 36 weeks and the baby is in the breech presentation (which means the head is up, or if the head is not down; if it's transverse, or if it's lying side to side) then your physician may discuss different options with you. The first option would be to try some sort of homeopathic or Eastern medicine type of management. If your physician's comfortable with that, they can refer you to a chiropractor, an acupuncturist, or an herbalist, because we sometimes find that they have techniques that may adjust the baby's position. Some physicians may not agree with this, and you may have to check with your physician as to whether or not they feel comfortable with you seeking advice outside of their management. Another method of management is something called an external cephalic version. That is where the physician, in a hospital setting, will administer medication to relax your uterus and will actually physically push on the outer aspects of your body, of your abdomen, to try and physically turn the baby. Usually, the baby is monitored before and after this procedure. Usually, an ultrasound is performed to document that the head has successfully turned, and usually, it's done in a hospital setting in case distress occurs during the procedure, so that you can be in a place that can handle that situation. If the baby is in an abnormal presentation when you present in labour to labour and delivery, it depends on that position as to whether or not the doctor will allow you to continue to labour. If the baby's head is up or is side to side, doctors usually will recommend a caesarean section at this point in time; it is not commonplace to do a vaginal breech delivery anymore. If you show up to the hospital 10cm dilated, and the baby's already halfway out, they may proceed with a vaginal delivery, but that's usually the only time that a breech baby will be delivered vaginally in a singleton or one-baby pregnancy.