The delivery room is a place of joy unless something bad happens. It can quickly go from hope and love to uncertainty and sadness if labor or delivery goes on too long.

When a doctor fails to assist the birth of a baby after a long labor, it may cause both mother and child to suffer medical consequences. Find out more about what it may mean when the birth of a baby does not go as planned.

Why do doctors wait?

Throughout pregnancy, moms create a birth plan centered around their desires in the birthing process. They may want a natural birth with limited intervention. In some situations, a doctor may wait too long and allow nature to take its course.

What are the risks of waiting too long?

What happens when a doctor waits too long to intercede? For the mother, a delayed delivery may increase the chances of placenta rupture and elevated blood pressure, leading to heart failure or stroke. For the baby, the consequences may prove catastrophic for brain function.

What is oxygen deprivation?

Hypoxia or oxygen deprivation is a significant injury for a baby. While this can occur when the umbilical cord becomes wrapped around a baby’s neck, its chances increase the longer labor and delivery continue. Signs at birth that the baby experienced hypoxia include:

  • Slower response to stimulation
  • Seizures
  • Slackness and pale color
  • Low heart rate

Developmental delays and other physical signs may reinforce the oxygen deficiency before birth as a baby grows.

It is imperative that doctors intervene when the baby or mother shows signs of distress during labor and delivery. If not, the long-term prospect of medical issues begins to increase, necessitating a lifetime of medical care.