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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Childbirth, Emergency Delivery
      Category : Health Centers > Pregnancy and Childbirth

Childbirth, Emergency Delivery

Alternate Names : Delivery, Emergency, Emergency Delivery, Birth, Emergency, Home Delivery

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

An emergency delivery happens when unplanned events cause a woman to give birth at home or on the way to the hospital. Emergency deliveries should not be confused with intentional home deliveries.

Unexpected complications can develop when labor and delivery happen at home. These complications include:

  • sudden separation of the afterbirth, called placenta abruptio
  • fetal distress during labor
  • unexpected multiple pregnancy
  • unexpected maternal bleeding after delivery of the placenta
  • infant breathing problems after delivery
  • What is going on in the body?

    There are different stages of labor. When the water breaks it usually means the baby will be coming soon. Contractions often start after the water breaks, sometimes before. Contractions of the uterus can go on for hours. For first-time mothers, contractions usually last 10 to 24 hours. Later births are faster, usually 3 to 8 hours.

    Contractions cause the cervix to open, or dilate. Once the cervix is completely opened, the baby begins to move down into the birth canal, or vagina. Eventually, the baby is delivered by the mother's pushing. Babies are usually born head first, facing down. Sometimes the baby's feet or buttocks are the first through the birth canal. After the baby is delivered, the placenta separates from the uterus and is also pushed out.

    What are the causes and risks of the condition?

    Certain conditions make emergency deliveries more likely. Rapid delivery occurs more often in women who:

  • have given birth before
  • have had a rapid delivery before
  • have certain connective-tissue diseases, such as Marfan's syndrome or Ehrlos-Danlos syndrome
  • have a history of cervical incompetence, which is a cervix that does not stay closed when it should
  • go into labor prematurely, or before 36 weeks
  • have been injured or seriously ill, which may start premature labor
  • Other reasons for an unexpected delivery are that:

  • the mother lives far from a medical facility
  • bad weather prevents getting to the hospital


    Next section


    Childbirth, Emergency Delivery: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Eva Martin, MD
    Reviewer: Adam Brochert, MD
    Date Reviewed: 09/11/01

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