Infant Shoulder Dystocia
Infant shoulder dystocia is a birth injury that happens when one or both of a baby’s shoulders gets trapped on the mother’s pelvis in labor. In most cases, even those that have this condition will be born safely. However, there are cases where it leads to a birth injury. It can even harm the mother as she’s giving birth to the child. To put a clearer definition of this term, dystocia refers to long and difficult labor. Another situation where this can happen is when the baby comes face-first, and the doctor pulls the child out from the head. This puts a lot of stress on the child’s neck.
Some of the symptoms that show your child has infant shoulder dystocia include:
- A claw-like hand
- Light paralysis of the affected limb
- Nerve damage and pain in an injured area
When doctors attempt to pull the child out during delivery, they have to do this carefully because incorrect pulling can lead to broken bones, brachial plexus palsy, and facial injuries. Infants have susceptible bodies, which can lead to damage if they’re not handled properly during birth.
There are a few things that can put your child at risk for baby shoulder dystocia. For example, if your child weighs over 8 pounds, 13 ounces from the time of birth, this can lead to an injury. Larger babies are often delivered through a C-section because doing so lowers the risk to the child. Another one of the risks for this birth disorder is gestational diabetes and regular diabetes. Diabetes has been linked with mothers who have larger babies, increasing the risk that their child will experience infant shoulder dystocia.
Some of the other things that put your child at risk for this condition include:
- Induced labor
- Use of the epidural
- Maternal obesity
- Late labor or delivery
- Pregnancy with more than one child
Mothers are also at risk with this type of birth injury because this condition can lead to hemorrhaging, lacerations, and uterine rupture. Luckily, in most cases, mothers and their children will recover well even if they suffer from this condition. An additional note regarding shoulder dystocia: If the child gets trapped in the birth canal for too long, it can lead to brain damage, which causes cerebral palsy.
How do doctors treat this condition? If a doctor believes that you might be at an increased risk for this condition, they might prepare you for it ahead of time. The doctor will also make sure that all of the medical staff are present for the labor because it will be a more difficult delivery. Normally, doctors will conduct medical maneuvers during birth to get the child out safely and prevent further injury. If your child experienced a birth injury, though, you could get financial support. Discuss your case to determine if you’re eligible.