•Experts give tips on what to do
Post pregnancy term experience can be harrowing. Apart from the psychological trauma and emotional tension that accompany the anxiety by the potential parents, it may result in serious and life threatening injuries to the expectant mother and her unborn baby.
Many women do all they can during their pregnancies to maintain perfect health for themselves and the foetus, yet they experience delayed delivery.
Oftentimes, there is no particular reason a pregnancy should last longer than necessary, but, there are certain risk factors associated with delayed delivery during the birthing process.
Sometimes, the perceived delay could be as a result of a miscalculation of the Expected Date of Delivery (EDD).
It could also be as a result of a family history of delayed delivery, a child with cephalopelvic disproportion (oversized head that cannot pass the birth canal), shoulder dystocia, maternal diabetes, an overly small maternal pelvis, an abnormally shaped maternal pelvis, labour dystocia, maternal impaired glucose tolerance, having a male child, maternal obesity, genetics, advanced maternal age, a cervix that does not properly dilate, a maternal history of pelvic trauma and maternal history of pelvic bone tumours.
Abnormally shaped maternal pelvis; fibroid tumors in the uterus, excessive maternal weight gain, congenital vaginal septum, having delivered previous children, Cephalo pelvic disproportion and/or macrosomia, a mother or father of a larger size, a mother who is of short stature, maternal drug use, maternal dehydration, uterine contractions that are not strong enough, improper usage of labor inducing medications and severe pain during labour are also among a number of risk factors that make a post-term pregnancy more likely.
Medical experts identify the sign and symptoms associated with delayed delivery to include less than three contractions that occur within a 10- minute time period, which last less than 40 seconds, a change in cervical dilation that is less than one centimeter per hour for two hours in a row, little to no change in the baby’s progression and descent into the birth canal after three hours of pushing despite a fully dilated cervix.
A medical practitioner, Dr Precious Obinna explained that in some cases if the pelvic bone is not in a good shape, the child is infected with bacteria, weak or not highly motile, there will be delay in delivery.
Also, if there is a placenta preview, a cord around the neck of the baby, the woman is sick, has stillbirth or has improper function of the body there is every tendency that delayed delivery will occur. While noting that some cases are hereditary or congenital. Obinna said: “environmental factor, persistent bending, going closer to fire and weight of the baby can contribute to development of delay in child delivery.”
Obinna, who is the Medical Director of PROGOBIA Homeopathic Hospital Limited, Lagos, explained that how a post-term pregnancy is treated and managed depends upon the nature of one’s pregnancy, health status and medical history, the extent of one’s post-term pregnancy, that is, how far long it is, her ability to tolerate certain medications, therapies and medical procedures, her expectations, opinions or preferences regarding the treatment.
He noted that there are options in cases of delayed delivery like cesarean section, use of forceps or a vacuum extractor to facilitate a vaginal delivery, artificial rupture of membranes, epidural etc.
Obinna explained that there are a number of complications that can arise as a result of a delayed delivery post –maturity syndrome that occurs in roughly 20 percent of post-term pregnancies.
According to him, post-term baby is more likely to suffer from chronic stress and hypoxia (a lack of oxygen) due to utero placental insufficiency that arises in a post-term pregnancy. “Also, Hemorrhaging within the baby’s head and the use of obstetric instruments during the delivery of a post-term child may increase its chance of sustaining injury.”
The medical personnel further said paralysis might occur due to the fact that a post-term pregnancy may involve an obstructed vaginal delivery. “Sometimes, more force in the use of certain obstetric instruments may be necessary to free a child from the birth canal and injuries such as paralysis may be more likely, as well as shoulder dystocia and mental retardation.”
Obinna further hinted that though exercises are necessary for pregnant women, not all exercises are good. “ I do not recommend massaging for pregnant women, because some of those who massage them are not experienced and so, they can inflict pains on them, which will in the end affect the baby.
They should also have sex, but not a forceful one. Most importantly, high degree of hygiene, and diet are required to check delay in delivery. If any delay is noticed, expert should be consulted, and if the case is that of pelvic disproportion, the remedy is surgery in order to save the life of the baby. But surgery should not be at the fore -front, rather, it should be the last resort. However, homeopathy has answers to many of these.”