Signs and Symptoms of Cephalopelvic Disproportion

Signs and Symptoms of Cephalopelvic Disproportion

What is Cephalopelvic Disproportion?

Whether it's your first birth experience or your third, being a little nervous about your pending delivery is to be expected. The good news is, most deliveries happen without incident. However, in other cases, some risks could lead to complications such as cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD).

CPD can occur when there is a disproportion between a fetus' size and the mother’s pelvis. Here’s what you need to know about the risk factors and warning signs associated with this birth complication.

The Risk Factors

While CPD is rare, some risk factors can increase the chances of CPD:

  • Gestational Diabetes
    Gestational diabetes can cause fetal macrosomia — a condition in which a fetus weighs more than 8 lbs, 13 ounces (4,000 grams), no matter what their gestational stage. A large baby, even if not macrosomic but large relative to the pelvic proportions, can have challenges passing through the birth canal.
  • Narrow Pelvis
    In some cases, the mother may have a pelvis that is too narrow or abnormally shaped to deliver the baby vaginally. Before giving birth, your obstetrics provider should ensure that the examinations also include an evaluation of the pelvic outlet to determine if you may be at risk of CPD.
  • Post-Term Fetus
    • A pregnancy is generally considered to last 40 weeks. A “term” pregnancy is defined by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) as follows:
    • Early term - (37 0/7 weeks of gestation through 38 6/7 weeks of gestation)
    • Full term - (39 0/7 weeks of gestation through 40 6/7 weeks of gestation)
    • Late term - (41 0/7 weeks of gestation through 41 6/7 weeks of gestation).

ACOG defines “post-term” as 42 0/7 weeks of gestation and beyond

Obviously, as the gestation progresses, the fetus continues to grow. So, the longer the gestation, the larger the fetus, and the risk for complications from CPD increases.

The Warning Signs

Some indicators that could point to cephalopelvic disproportion in pregnancy are:

  • Prolonged labor
    Also known as failure to progress, prolonged labor is characterized by labor that lasts 18 to 24 hours after regular contractions begin.
  • Fetal distress
    Fetal distress can happen when a pregnancy lasts too long, or labor is difficult.
  • High levels of amniotic fluid
    Medically known as polyhydramnios, too much amniotic fluid causes the uterus to become larger than average.
  • Large fundal height measurement
    The distance from your pubic bone to the top of your uterus is called the fundal height. Typically, the fundal height (in centimeters) should correlate with the weeks of gestation. When a fetus measures large for their gestational age (based on your due date), it means that your fundal height is more than 3 centimeters larger than anticipated at your stage of pregnancy.

CPD may also be a catalyst to many types of birth injuries and complications, including but not limited to:

Did Your Child Suffer a Birth Injury? We can help

If your physician failed to treat you or your baby properly during labor and delivery, you have the right to seek justice and compensation. At The Beasley Firm, LLC, our attorneys have extensive experience in litigating highly complex birth injury cases. We’ve recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients to secure their future care, education, and comfort needs.

If your physician failed to treat you or your baby properly during labor and delivery, you have the right to seek justice and compensation. At The Beasley Firm, LLC, our attorneys have extensive experience in litigating highly complex birth injury cases. We’ve recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients to secure their future care, education, and comfort needs.

We are here to help you through this difficult time. Contact The Beasley Firm, LLC at (215) 866-2424 to schedule a free consultation.

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