During the labor process, some babies can sustain an injury known as shoulder dystocia. This happens when the baby’s shoulders get trapped inside the pelvis, which can result in a prolonged and more painful childbirth for the mother. For the baby, it can result in bone fractures, nerve damage, and even oxygen deprivation in rare cases. In more severe cases, the mother might experience hemorrhaging or tearing of the uterus or perineum, which can require surgery to fix.
What are the risk factors for shoulder dystocia?
In most cases, it’s difficult for doctors to predict a case of shoulder dystocia ahead of time. However, certain factors might make the mother and infant more likely to experience shoulder dystocia. Giving birth to twins and triplets is one risk factor, as well as being overweight during pregnancy. Having diabetes is another risk factor. Additionally, giving birth to a baby who weighs more than eight pounds and thirteen ounces might increase the mother’s chances of experiencing shoulder dystocia.
How can shoulder dystocia be prevented?
If the doctor suspects that the mother might be at risk for this condition, they might try certain techniques during the labor process. They might ask the mother to press her thighs against her stomach or try to turn the baby inside the birth canal during labor. In severe cases, they might perform a C-section. Shoulder dystocia is hard to predict, but if the baby suffers from severe injuries, the mother might be able to sue for medical malpractice.
How to proceed in cases of medical malpractice
If a parent suspects that their infant was the victim of medical malpractice, they might wish to speak with an attorney. An attorney might be able to help them build a case and negotiate a fair settlement that covers financial and emotional damages.