Cephalopelvic Disproportion (CPD)

Cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD) is a delivery complication in which either the baby’s head is too large to pass through the mother’s pelvis without damage or because the mother’s pelvis is too small to allow the baby’s head to pass. Tune into attorney Euel Kinsey’s discussion of the causes, risk factors, and consequences of this pregnancy, labor and delivery complication.


Transcript: Cephalopelvic Disproportion (CPD) Video

Cephalopelvic disproportion means exactly the way it sounds. There’s a disproportion between the fetal head and the pelvic outlet. Now, there can be several reasons for this. For example, a baby might be the product of a mother with gestational diabetes and has grown very large. In addition, it could be due to a child that has been allowed to stay in utero beyond the normal term. It may be that the mother has a small pelvic outlet. It could also include other factors such as congenital dislocation of the hips, shape of the pelvis due to previous accidents, tumors of the bone, a congenital deformity of the sacrum or coccyx, or occipital posterior position (in other words, the unexpected rotation of the baby). The bottom line is that your clinician will be monitoring the progress of your labor. And, if your labor is dysfunctional, that can be a sign of cephalopelvic disproportion. Your clinician needs to be aware of a dysfunctional labor pattern and take appropriate action, which often means that they’re going to recommend a Cesarean section (C-section) to avoid harm to the mother or the baby. One of the things that your clinician has to be aware of is the fact that if they’re using Pitocin or Oxytocin to help your labor along, that, in fact, where there is cephalopelvic disproportion and a dysfunction of your labor, that can have a harmful effect on your fetus. So your clinician has to be very aware of how your labor is progressing, and if it’s not progressing appropriately, to take an appropriate step, which might mean discontinuing your Pitocin, it might mean delivering by Cesarean section, depending on the circumstances.


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