In part-1 of this two-part article, we got to know a bit about brow presentation, now we will look a bit more into its diagnosis and complications.
How can you diagnose brow presentation?
Generally, detection of brow presentation is a bit difficult and is only detected when your labor is well established. The following ways help your doctor/midwife diagnose brow presentation:
- Digital examination: An ultrasound or any digital examination is mandatory
- Vaginal examination: Your doctor does a manual vaginal examination on which the facial features of the baby are felt distinctively
What are the risks associated with brow presentation?
The risks and complications faced are:
- Prolonged labor
- Arrested labor (immediate action to be taken)
- Swelling in the front of the fetal skull (due to prolonged labor)
- Abnormal fetal heart rate.
- Increased risk of spinal cord injury
- If forceps delivery is indicated it can lead to facial trauma and cerebral hemorrhage
How is brow presentation handled?
Constant monitoring by the doctor is a must. If your baby has brow presentation or face presentation, you can still have a vaginal delivery, provided that the baby’s chin is near your pubic bone. But if the baby’s chin is close to your tailbone a C-section is advised, as vaginal delivery becomes impossible as your baby will not be able to have room to come down through your pelvis.
In some cases, in order to avoid C-section, two options may be considered:
- Manual rotation: When you’re in labor and your cervix is fully dilated, your doctor/midwife may manually flex your baby’s head
- Ventouse: Done after your cervix is fully dilated or when you start pushing
It should be known that even if you try a normal vaginal birth, there are chances that the labor may not progress this causes distress in your baby, and your doctor may have to perform an emergency C-section.
Brow and face presentations are very rare. If and if you happen to be diagnosed with it, worry not. Get as much as information as you can and leave the rest to your doctor. You will have an easy delivery!