What should pregnant women know about shoulder dystocia? Shoulder dystocia is a birth complication that is caused when the baby is partially delivered. The head is out while the baby’s shoulders are stuck behind the pelvis. This could result in paralysis of the limbs or other nerve damage. This condition is serious and can be fatal if the infant is not removed in a timely manner. There is a risk that the baby could suffocate.

Also, problems can occur if the doctor panics in the emergency situation and begins to pull or tug on the baby to get him or her dislodged. This could result in birth injuries resulting from force to the infant’s head, neck, shoulder or spine.

If diagnosed with diabetes in this pregnancy or previously, you may want to speak with your doctor about the possibility of dystocia during your delivery. If you have a family history of diabetes or have given birth to a larger baby previously, you should understand the risks. You and your doctor can create a plan in case your baby is larger due to your diabetes.


Marcus Boston is a Maryland medical malpractice attorney who helps people navigate the Maryland childbirth injury and medical malpractice process to get money for their injuries caused by the carelessness of doctors and hospitals.