Caregiver’s Responsibility for Checking Position of Fetus to Detect Abnormal Presentation/Breech Delivery

Although it is possible for an abnormal position of the fetus to change on its own prior to delivery, when it does not, the risk of complications multiplies. One of the most common complications is a breech position, in which the feet or buttocks are pointed down instead of the baby’s head. Failure to properly monitor or respond in these cases may warrant speaking with medical malpractice lawyers in Ohio if serious injury occurs to mother or child during birth. 

Who is responsible for detecting an abnormal presentation? 

Caregivers in a pregnancy can include: 

  • obstetrician-gynecologists (OB-GYNs);
  • family physicians;
  • nurses;
  • midwives; and
  • maternal-fetal medicine specialists (in high risk pregnancies).

At some point, one of these people will be checking the fetal position during pregnancy.

Checking for the position of the fetus can be done several ways. One is by feeling the mother’s abdomen. Another is through a fetal stethoscope. This can indicate where the heartbeat is located (in the upper or lower portion of the mother’s abdomen).

The best way, however, may be through an ultrasound. Once it has been determined that the fetal position during pregnancy is abnormal and it’s close to labor and delivery time, there may be steps that need to be taken, things that caregivers should do when the baby’s position is abnormal.

What should caregivers do when baby’s position is abnormal? 

Early in the pregnancy very rarely does anything need to be done since the baby oftentimes changes position on his/her own. But if it’s near the time of delivery, attempts may be made to manually change the baby’s position.

This may be done when the caregiver manipulates the baby by gently pressing on the mother’s stomach. Or, the caregiver may reach into the birth canal and move the baby from the inside in some cases.

If this doesn’t work, it could require an emergency cesarean section. The reason for this emergency procedure is that birth injuries can arise from an abnormal presentation: 

  • prolonged labor and delivery, which could cause oxygen deprivation:
  • neck trauma; and
  • fractures and cord prolapse (umbilical cord drops into birth canal before the baby’s head).

Parents dealing with birth injury that they suspect was the result of negligence may consult medical malpractice lawyers in Ohio at Mellino Robenalt LLC to review legitimacy of a potential claim and for help pursuing a claim if the position of the fetus was not properly monitored or addressed. Call 440-333-3800.