Birthowl’s natural childbirth

Question Cephalopelvic Disproportion

Cephalopelvic Disproportion is rare yet is vastly overdiagnosed. Here are the stories of a few women who were told their babies were too big for their pelvises by one care provider, but fortunately sought a second opinion and subsequently birthed an even BIGGER baby through that same “small” pelvis.
VBAC = vaginal birth after cesarean
HBAC = homebirth after cesarean
HBA3C = homebirth after 3 cesareans
UBA2C = unassisted birth after 2 cesarean

Cephalopelvic Disproportion (CPD)

by Kelly Milotay

What Is CPD?

Cephalopelvic Disproportion (CPD) is the medical diagnosis used when an infant’s head is declared too big to fit through the mother’s pelvis. Often, this diagnosis is made after the woman has labored for some time, but other times, it is entered into a woman’s medical record before she even labors. A misdiagnosis of CPD accounts for many of the unnecessary cesareans performed in North America and around the world annually. This diagnosis does not have to impact a woman’s future birthing decisions. Many actions can be taken by the expectant mother to increase her chances of birthing vaginally.

Understanding the Mechanics of Birth

A woman’s pelvis is flexible and is made to open during birth. When there is interference with the birth process (induction before baby is ready, mother’s movement is restricted, etc.), the pelvis is not able to open to its maximum. The baby’s head molds (changes shape) during labor and delivery in order to fit through the pelvis. Neither the pelvis nor the baby’s head are fixed in one position; both expand and shift as labor progresses. A birthing woman’s pelvis is most likely to expand freely and accommodate the baby when the following conditions are present:

The birth takes place when the baby is ready and when natural birth hormones are present.The laboring woman moves freely to her comfort level.Adequate time is allowed for the molding of the baby’s head.