Fundal Pressure: When It Is Used and Its Associated Risks

Techniques such as fundal pressure may be used during delivery if there are complications during labor and delivery, in order to aid in the speed of the delivery. Some of these delivery complications are caused by babies that are larger or in an abnormal position (breech). If a delivery is improperly handled, a Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer may help parents pursue a negligence claim against the doctor.

What is fundal pressure and when is it used? 

Fundal pressure during delivery is the act of manually pressing on a woman’s abdomen to assist in delivering the baby. It can be done if delivery complications are present such as if the baby’s position isn’t normal or if labor has slowed or stopped.

It may also be done in an effort to avoid performing a Cesarean section. Or there might be other alternatives that could be less harmful, such as using assistive delivery devices (forceps or vacuum extraction). Keep in mind that even these options could present complications.

Are there risks to using fundal pressure? 

There may be risks with using this maneuver. With the mother it could result in a perineal laceration (tear in area between vagina and anus). But there are also potential complications involving the child such as fractures or uterine rupture (tearing in the wall of the uterus).

If shoulder dystocia is present, fundal pressure may worsen the condition. Shoulder dystocia may lead to brachial plexus injury, where the nerves in the baby’s hand, arm and shoulder can be permanently damaged.

Women who suspect delivery complications are associated with medical malpractice can consult a Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer for help evaluating legal options. Set up a consultation with Mellino Robenalt LLC to discuss a potential negligence cause involving fundal pressure during delivery.