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Birth Injuries Resulting From a Breech Birth

May 18, 2017

A healthy newborn is every parent’s number one concern. And if you’re a parent facing a breech birth, you trust your doctor to properly and sufficiently address these concerns.

In the case of a breech birth, which can be difficult and dangerous, you trust your doctor to manage the risks and safely deliver your baby. However, with a breech birth, the risk of birth injuries goes up. And as the risk of birth injuries goes up, so does the likelihood of doctor error or medical malpractice.

A Breech Birth: What Is It?

In a typical pregnancy, the baby moves into delivery position with the head moving closer to the birth canal. However, if the baby is positioned abnormally, with the butt/feet closest to the birth canal, this is called a “breech presentation.” A breech is more likely when:

  • A baby is born early;
  • More than one baby is in the uterus; or
  • A baby is surrounded by high levels of amniotic fluid

To avoid a breech birth, a breech baby is turned if possible. If a breech baby can’t be turned, a caesarean section is normally attempted because a vaginal delivery increases the risk of birth injuries.

Breech Births and Birth Injuries

 When breech babies are delivered vaginally, they’re more likely to be injured during or after delivery. Injuries that a breech baby might suffer include:

  • Entrapment in the birth canal
  • Brain and spinal cord injuries caused by forceful extraction
  • Bleeding and broken bones
  • Separation of the hip socket and thigh bone
  • Umbilical cord complications, such as cord flattening, which can lead to oxygen deprivation and nerve/brain damage.

While cesarean delivery is safer for breech babies, it too comes with risks. In general, cesarean deliveries can cause bleeding and infection. They can also result in longer hospital stays for both the mother and her baby. And for mothers with multiple children, a vaginal breech birth may actually be less dangerous if the mother has had previous cesarean deliveries.


If your child was injured during a breech birth, you may be entitled to compensation. The lawyers at Berger Lagnese & Paul, LLC want to help you. We have an experienced team of lawyers and doctors that specializes in medical malpractice. Call us at 412-471-4300, or email us. We help residents in Pittsburgh, Greensburg, Beaver, Erie, Uniontown, Washington and throughout Western Pennsylvania.

We Have Successfully Handled Cases Like Yours