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A review of abnormal birth positions and complications in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State

Stella U. Ezeobi
Iboro E. Edet
Gabriel J. Ekandem
Victor B. Archibong


Introduction: Abnormal birth positions persisting to term have been associated with serious complications such as uterine rupture, umbilical cord prolapse, cervical spine injury, nuchal arms, and fetal head entrapment.

Aim: The purpose of this study was to find out the most common abnormal birth position, mode of delivery, and associated complications at birth.

Materials and Methods: This study covered the period of 5 years from 2005 to 2009 in three major hospitals in Uyo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. The hospitals are St. Luke Hospital established in 1937, Mainland Hospital (a private hospital) established in 1975, and University of Uyo Teaching hospital established 1996. Totally, 1100 term singleton fetuses in abnormal birth positions were considered in this study.

Results: Six different types of abnormal birth positions were recorded viz.: Breech 70.00% (the most common fetal malposition), transverse lie 14.73%, occiput posterior 8.45%, face presentation 3.27%, shoulder 1.91%, and compound 1.64%. Associated complications observed were umbilical cord prolapse (the most common complication) 6.27%, ruptured uterus 1.64%, and shoulder dislocation 0.54%. The rate of cesarean delivery for these fetuses was high (68.36%) compared to vaginal delivery (31.64%).

Conclusion: Pregnant women are hereby encouraged to make childbirth a medically-centered hospital event to avoid unnecessary loss of their lives and/or that of their babies to complications of pregnancy and childbirth.

Keywords: Abnormal birth positions, cesarean and vaginal delivery, complications

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eISSN: 1596-2393