What If…There is Hardware (Fixation, Metal, Rods, etc) in Pelvis or Hips

More detailed content to come in Q4 of 2022, but essentially, it depends.

First and foremost, unless your obstetrician has a phenomenal reason for doing so, you should not ‘just plan on a cesarean section’ if you have hardware somewhere in your pelvis. We can’t assume that attempts at vaginal delivery will fail. But we can’t promise it will work, either.

Here’s the 411:

  1. For baby to descend into pelvis, the top of the pelvis needs to open. If the top of your sacrum is screwed to your iliums (technically ilia, but who’s checking)…this technically can’t happen…which could impact progression of labor
  2. And for baby to exit the pelvis, the bottom of the pelvis needs to open, so if there is hardware connecting the lower sacrum to the ilia, technically, this can’t happen…which could impact progression of labor
  3. BUT…labor is not just about that pelvic mobility. It’s also about the size of the baby. And if the other half of this child’s chromosomes come from a giant, and you’re a tiny pipsqueak, then maybe we are a bit more concerned….but if you’re pretty evenly sized with your partner…then, we start from a neutral score card.

Because the sacrum won’t be able to move as much, relaxing your pelvic and abdominal muscles is even more important for you than someone without hardware in their pelvis. Having ‘as much low back mobility and motor control’ as possible is important, as is making sure that the coccyx (tailbone) is free to extend during delivery, to open the outlet however we can. (pillow under one side of pelvis, making sure your tailbone is free to move and not crammed against a stiff mattress–pictures and vids to com in future).

So in general, talk to your OB. Vaginal delivery might be fine. Or it might not be. You may potentially have a slightly higher chance of Cesarean Delivery than someone with a non-fixated pelvis…but only slightly. So delivery in a hospital setting, where you have the resources for C-section available to you, is prudent, if that route is needed.

Remember, labor and delivery is complicated in the best of times. Do your best. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and be at peace with whatever happens. You are doing your best and I am proud of you!