A baby getting stuck during delivery? Does this really happen? The short answer is that in some instances, a baby can get stuck during labor and delivery. When this happens, doctors must work quick any careful to free the child. Failure to free the child in enough time can not only cause serious injury, it can lead to death.


The term for a baby getting stuck during delivery is shoulder dystocia. In this Maryland educational article, and supporting video, I will discuss from a medical legal standpoint the possible risk factors associated with shoulder dystocia and why doctors must be on the lookout for them and advise the patient accordingly.




As I explained above, shoulder dystocia is the term used for when a baby is essentially stuck during delivery. This can happen when the child is trapped behind the mother’s pelvis. Shoulder dystocia creates an emergency in the delivery room because ultimately death can ensue.


One of the most serious dangers during shoulder dystocia is umbilical cord compression. As the baby moves down the birth canal, if the umbilical cord is compressed, then a lack of blood and oxygen can get to the baby. Not only can this profusion issue cause a brain injury (possible subsequent cerebral palsy diagnosis), it can lead to death if doctors cannot remedy the situation fast enough.


As for treatment, doctors can perform the maneuvers taught to them to work to free the baby. With that said, if panic sets in and doctors fail to perform the maneuvers the right way, injury to the baby’s shoulder (broken clavicle), hand, or arm can occur.




There can be many risk factors for shoulder dystocia. Doctors should take the time and assess their patients for possible risk factors associated with shoulder dystocia. Once this is done, the doctors can then not only prepare for the condition, but advise the patient accordingly.


Here are some of the potential risk factors for shoulder dystocia:


  • Increased fetal weight (baby being close to 9 lbs)
  • Maternal obesity
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Previous shoulder dystocia


As mentioned above, doctors should not only explain the importance of the possible risk factors regarding shoulder dystocia so that the patient can make the best decision possible, but the doctor should be ready and prepared for an increased likelihood of shoulder dystocia when certain factors are present.





Has your child suffered an injury during birth and you think the baby getting stuck during delivery and injured was due to the doctor not paying close attention to the possible risk factors? If this has happened to you, this is what I invite you to do. Pick up the phone and give me a call. I can be reached at 301-850-4832. I answer Maryland birth injury and medical malpractice questions just like yours all the time and I will be happy to listen to your story.


Marcus B. Boston, Esq.

Boston Law Group, LLC

2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 700

Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815



1-833-4 BABY HELP


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. BLG handles cases in Prince George’s County, Baltimore City, Montgomery County, Howard County, Anne Arundel County, and all other Maryland Counties. blgesq.com