If you had or have a baby who is suspected to be big, your provider may have talked about the risk of the shoulders getting stuck, and maybe suggested an earlier induction or even a cesarean. But how often do the shoulders get stuck? What are the risks? Does it happen more to big babies? Are there ways to prevent it, and what can you and your provider do if shoulder dystocia happens? The ever amazing Rachel Reed has answers.
What we talked about:
- What is shoulder dystocia (SD)?
- Not just at the pubic bone: different types of SD
- What is considered a big baby?
- Is there a correlation between gestational diabetes, big baby size, and SD?
- How do we know if a baby is big?
- The fear of the big baby
- What about if your provider suspects you have a big baby?
- How often does SD occur?
- Why is SD then not discussed for all babies, but only for suspected big babies?
- What are some risk factors for SD?
- What are some ways to avoid SD?
- Any special considerations for people with epidurals?
- If SD happens, what can be done, and what can parents expect to happen?
- Make the most of all that space in your trunk!
- Can directed pushing increase the risk of SD?
- Can care provider protocols during the actual birth cause or increase the chances SD?
- What’s with all the pulling and tugging once the head is born?
Mentioned links and other related articles*:
- Shoulder Dystocia: the real story, from Midwife Thinking
- Evidence on: Induction or C-section for a Big Baby?, from Evidence Based Birth
- FlipFLOP: Four Steps to Remember, by Gail Tully for Midwifery Today
- In Celebration of the OP Baby, by Midwife Thinking
- Shoulder dystocia: an evidence-Based approach, from the Journal of Prenatal Medicine (note: this article describes several “last resort” maneuvers that may be disturbing)
Related Birthful episodes:
- Rethinking the Pushing Stage, with Whapio
- Protecting Your Perineum, with Rachel Reed
- How Will Birth Transform You?, with Britta Bushnell
About Dr. Rachel Reed
Dr. Rachel Reed is a Senior Lecturer and Discipline Leader in Midwifery at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia. She has provided midwifery care for hundreds of women in a range of settings in the United Kingdom and Australia. Rachel is a writer and presenter, and is the author of the MidwifeThinking blog.
Rachel’s book ‘Why Induction Matters’ is due for release on the 6th September 2018.
Find out more on her blog, follow her tweets at @MidwifeThinking, or join the conversation on her Facebook page.
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