Difficult delivery - Definition

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A difficult delivery (or dystocia) is a delivery that does not take place normally. The problem may come from the mother or the fetus as in a breech birth or a "big" baby. In cases of difficult delivery, the doctor can perform an episiotomy: a surgery to incise the vulva to facilitate the delivery of the fetus, or a cesarean section by opening the abdominal wall if the difficulty is major. The administration of intravenous analgesics or an epidural is often necessary.