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What is shoulder dystocia?

On Behalf of | Jan 8, 2021 | Medical Malpractice |

No matter if you are becoming a parent for the first time or are adding more members to a budding family, the day of delivery is often one that spawns smiles and excitement for the future.

Unfortunately, issues can arise during birth that leads to the child and/or mother getting injured. One such birth injury is shoulder dystocia.

Shoulder dystocia, in plain terms

While the medical name may sound a little complicated, the injury itself has a pretty simple explanation. During the birthing process, a baby’s head is hopefully quickly followed by its shoulders. But in some situations, a shoulder may be at an odd angle that prevents it from moving through the birth canal. This creates opportunities for this birth injury.

While this condition earns itself an easy diagnosis that doesn’t mean it’s any less of an emergency, according to Healthline. As stated before, this condition can injure both the newborn and the mother. The child could face injuries externally on their limbs or internally on their brain. Mothers also face risk damage to their cervix and surrounding areas, which can render critical bleeding.

Preparing for or preventing it

Now, it might seem like a child’s exit from their mother isn’t something that can necessarily up for prediction. However, according to What To Expect, certain mothers can expect a higher risk of this birth injury occurring for their newborn. This higher risk can come when mothers are above a healthy weight or have diabetes. Even having shoulder dystocia at any point in the past can ignite risk.

In conversations with your healthcare provider, it can be beneficial to discuss your chances of shoulder dystocia as well as other birth injuries. If such an injury occurs where you suspect that a doctor’s negligence may have been a factor, it can be helpful to speak with a professional who can advocate for a potential birth injury case that you might want to bring forth.