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Larger babies may be vulnerable to shoulder dystocia

On Behalf of | Dec 2, 2022 | Birth Injuries

If you are expecting to welcome a new baby into your growing family, you have probably picked the perfect hospital for your delivery. You also trust doctors, nurses and other medical staff to take good care of you and your newborn. If you are having a larger baby, though, you should know about shoulder dystocia.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, shoulder dystocia is a medical emergency that happens when a baby’s shoulders get stuck during delivery. The condition is more common with larger babies than with smaller ones. In fact, it happens in as many as 9% of births where the baby weighs more than 8 pounds 13 ounces.

How do doctors prevent shoulder dystocia?

Besides the size of your baby, there is typically nothing to alert doctors about the potential risk of shoulder dystocia. Indeed, physicians might not realize there is an issue until you are in the middle of your delivery. After identifying the problem, however, doctors have a few different options for preventing injury.

What are the possible complications?

If doctors ignore the risk, both you and your newborn baby might be in extreme danger. Mothers often experience bleeding, tearing, fissures and other serious complications. For babies, the risks are equally serious, as shoulder dystocia can lead to broken bones, paralysis, brain injury and even death.

While shoulder dystocia’s possible complications are enough to make any expectant mom shudder, the condition is rare. Ultimately, though, if either you or your child have injuries that stem from shoulder dystocia, you may be eligible for significant financial compensation.

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