How does shoulder dystocia happen in newborns?

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Legally reviewed by:
Steven R. Davis and John A. Davis, Jr.
July 9, 2024

Shoulder dystocia can be a scary complication for a Texas mother in labor. It happens when a baby’s shoulders become caught in its mother’s pelvis during delivery and the baby cannot move forward through the birth canal. In many cases, doctors can quickly and safety extract the baby without any injuries or problems. However, if a child becomes lodged inside their mother for too long, they can suffer from some very serious and long-term complications.
One of the most troubling and dangerous issues that can develop is oxygen deprivation. If a child is trapped inside its mother during birth, they may not get sufficient oxygen. The deprivation of oxygen can result in coordination problems, learning disabilities, and other significant issues. Another serious problem that can afflict children who were affected by shoulder dystocia during birth is bone and nerve damage. Children can suffer broken collarbones and arms, as well as resulting nerve damage in their appendages, when their bodies become stuck in the birth canal. These issues can heal over time but, in some cases, may leave babies with permanent and disabling health problems.
Certain factors may increase the risks of shoulder dystocia during birth. Large babies, such as those that have gone past their due dates, large mothers and mothers carrying multiple babies, and mothers who have had histories of shoulder dystocia births may all have higher rates of this complication than others. Doctors should be on the lookout for these signs and should take steps to protect their patients from the birth injury complications that arise from shoulder dystocia.

John A. Davis, Jr.


John A. Davis, Jr. and Steven R. Davis

July 9 2024

Steven R. Davis and John A. Davis, Jr. are experienced attorneys at Davis & Davis, a law firm that specializes in medical malpractice cases in Texas. With a deep commitment to justice that guides their ethical approach, Davis and Davis have dedicated their careers to helping victims of medical negligence. They and their team continue to advocate for clients, despite the challenges posed by Texas's cap on recoverable damages in malpractice lawsuits. Davis & Davis pride themselves on their extensive experience in the field and their readiness to meet clients across the United States.

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