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How to Identify Cephalopelvic Disproportion

Cephalopelvic Disproportion (CPD) is the condition where a baby’s head or body will not fit through mother’s pelvis. Some cases of CPD present so obviously that doctors pre-schedule a Caesarian-section, but usually CPD cannot be diagnosed until labor has begun. Although CPD is rare, affecting only one in 250 pregnancies, pursue a diagnosis if you have any suspicions. Here are the different ways to identify CPD.


Things You’ll Need

  • Obstetrician appointment


4 Steps to Identify Cephalopelvic Disproportion

Cephalopelvic Disproportion

1. Know the main causes

Know the main causes of Cephalopelvic Disproportion: family history, diabetes, a pregnancy extending past the due date, abnormal fetal position, small or irregularly-formed pelvis or an abnormal genital tract.


2. Ask a physician to take measurements.

Evaluate the size and shape of the mother’s pelvis with a physical examination. Gauge the size and position of the baby with an ultrasound. The doctor will account for te fact that during labor the baby’s passage will ease as his head molds and the mother’s pelvic joints spread.


3. Get a second opinion if you lack confidence in your doctor’s diagnosis.

However, remember that early diagnosis of CPD rarely occurs.


4. Assess the progression of labor if no diagnosis is made beforehand.

Cephalopelvic Disproportion is not usually obvious until the beginning stages of labor when the baby gets stuck. Even stalled labor, called “failure to progress,” is often mistakenly diagnosed as CPD. Your doctor may administer oxytocin to spur labor or facilitate a better fetal position. If corrective efforts fail, a Caesarian-section may be required.


Tips and Warnings

  • If you had CPD with one pregnancy, your chances of having it with future pregnancies do not increase.
  • Cephalopelvic Disproportion can rarely be diagnosed prior to labor.


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