Everything You Need To Know About Shoulder Dystocia

Shoulder Dystocia

Have you ever wondered what happens when the journey into parenthood encounters unexpected twists? Picture this: the anticipation, the excitement, and suddenly, a moment of challenge – Shoulder Dystocia. It is undoubtedly a depressing situation when your newborn’s shoulder gets affected during childbirth. 

In this article, we navigate through the causes, signs, and even legal aspects, aiming to equip you with the knowledge to cope with the unexpected with confidence. Let’s start by understanding shoulder dystocia and ensuring you’re prepared to face it head-on.

What is Shoulder Dystocia?

In the baby’s birth process, the baby’s head usually comes out first. After that, the rest of their body. So, if there are any complications in this process, it can lead to shoulder dystocia in newborns.

In easy terms, the baby’s head comes out first without any issue. But the shoulders get stuck behind the mom’s pelvic bone. It gets difficult for the baby to pass out, and it leads to problems like shoulder dystocia. 

Understanding this problem is crucial because it can affect how doctors and nurses handle the birth. Knowing about it beforehand helps them be ready to assist if things get a bit tricky, ensuring the safety of both the baby and the mom.

Causes of Shoulder Dystocia

Fetal Factors

Fetal size and weight can lead to shoulder dystocia. Babies come in different sizes. If a baby is a bit larger than usual, their shoulders might have a hard time squeezing through the birth canal.

Abnormal positioning is another cause of shoulder dystocia. Babies inside the womb can sometimes be in positions that make it tricky for them to slide out easily.

Maternal Factors

Pregnant women have different shapes of pelvises. If a woman’s pelvic bone has less space, it can be problematic. It can make it harder for the baby’s shoulders to come out.

Moreover, sometimes, women may experience diabetes during pregnancy. It can lead to the baby growing a bit bigger than usual. As a result, the chances of this condition are enhanced.

 Signs And Symptoms of Shoulder Dystocia

Difficulty Delivering Shoulders

If the baby’s shoulders have difficulty coming out after the head, it could be a sign of Shoulder Dystocia. It’s like a little pause during the usual smooth delivery.

Prolonged Labor

Sometimes, if the birth takes longer than expected, it might be because the baby is facing challenges. Prolonged labor can be a signal for doctors to be extra watchful.

Emergency Indicators

Certain situations might make doctors and nurses jump into action quickly. If they see signs like the baby’s heart rate changing rapidly or if the mom is having trouble, it tells them they must act fast to keep both the baby and the mom safe.

Tests for Diagnosing Shoulder Dystocia

Physical Observation

During childbirth, doctors keenly watch how things progress. If they notice that the baby’s head is out, but the shoulders are stuck, it raises a flag for possible Shoulder Dystocia.


Doctors might use a machine called an ultrasound to get a closer look at the baby’s position in the womb. It helps them see if there are any signs that the shoulders might have difficulty coming out during birth.

Reviewing Medical Records

Looking at the mom’s and baby’s medical records is like reading the story of the pregnancy. It helps doctors understand if there are any signs or conditions that could contribute to shoulder dystocia.

Collaboration with Medical Experts

Sometimes, doctors collaborate with other experts to share their knowledge. It’s like having a team of experts working together to ensure the best care.

Decision-Making Discussions

Before doing any tests or procedures, doctors talk to the parents. They discuss what they observe, their concerns, and what steps might be taken. It’s like having a conversation to decide on the best plan for a safe delivery.

Complications Associated With Shoulder Dystocia 

When a baby experiences this problem during birth, a few things could cause some challenges. Let’s look at these complications:

  • Birth Injuries

Sometimes, the baby can get injured during the process. One common injury is to a group of nerves, affecting the baby’s ability to move their arm.

  • Fractures

Just like when you accidentally fall and might break a bone, similarly, in shoulder dystocia, a baby can experience fractures. 

  • Long-Term Consequences

These complications might not end after birth. There could be lasting effects, especially how the baby moves and uses their arms. It’s like a little challenge they might have to overcome as they grow up.

  • Neurological Implications

Sometimes, Shoulder Dystocia can affect the baby’s nerves, leading to issues with how their muscles work. The connection between the brain and the muscles needs some time to return to normal.

  • Emotional Impact on Parents

Going through this experience can be challenging for the parents, too. It’s a mix of relief that the baby is born safely but also worries about any challenges the baby might face.

Legal Aspects and Seeking Help in Shoulder Dystocia Cases

When things don’t go as planned during childbirth, especially in cases of Shoulder Dystocia, legal aspects come into play. Parents may need to seek help from legal experts if they believe there were mistakes or problems with how the doctors or nurses handled the situation. 

Understanding the legal side is essential for ensuring the proper care and accountability in cases of Shoulder Dystocia. So, if your child has gone through shoulder dystocia, it might be medical malpractice. Therefore, consult legal experts.

Thomas & Van LLP – Get Help From Experienced Legal Team 

In some cases, shoulder dystocia is undoubtedly due to the negligence of the medical team. So, if you believe that your child has shoulder dystocia due to medical malpractice, then you should consult Thomas & Van LLP.

This trustworthy and competent team has years of experience 55 years. During this long tenure, they have successfully resolved numerous multi-million dollar cases. They would guide you perfectly and assist you in making well-informed decisions. 

So, without any delay, you need to contact Thomas & Van LLP. Remember that if your child is suffering due to someone’s mistake, you need to take strict action against them. 

And it’s only possible when you pick the right legal team. Therefore, without wasting your time, call Thomas & Van LLP now and get a free consultation. 

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