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Special Care During Childbirth

Illustration of a baby in the typical childbirth position.

Babies often move down between the pelvic bones (descend) before birth. If this is your first pregnancy, this may happen 2 weeks to 4 weeks before labor. With repeat pregnancies, the baby may not “drop” until labor begins. The baby usually moves down head first. If your baby is not in a safe position for birth, or if there is a problem with the placenta, you may need special care. A cesarean delivery may be necessary.

Conditions that require special care

Cephalopelvic disproportion showing baby's head or body too big for the pelvis

Cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD): Baby’s head or body is too big for the pelvis.


Breech posistion showing the baby's feet or buttocks first

Breech position: Baby is positioned with feet or buttocks first.


Transverse position showing the baby positioned horizontally across the pelvis

Transverse position: Baby lies horizontally across the pelvis.

Placenta abruption showing the placenta detached from the uterine wall

Placental abruption: Placenta separates from the uterus.


Placenta previa showing the placenta blocking the cervix

Placenta previa: Placenta blocks the cervix.





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