Shoulder dystocia is a condition caused during birth when a baby's head is delivered but the child's shoulder or shoulders become stuck on the mother's pelvic bone and are not able to emerge. Although this occurs only in about 1 percent of normal-size births, one in 10 oversized babies will experience this complication. Doctors have discovered that inducing labor may help to prevent this issue.
A European study, led by a member of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Geneva University Hospitals in Switzerland, indicates that inducing labor at 37 or 38 weeks may help prevent shoulder dystocia. Although it is normal for doctors to wait for a full 39 weeks, which is a full-term of pregnancy, before inducing labor, in these cases, the benefits may outweigh the potential risk of an early birth.
Using sonograms, researchers identified about 800 babies who were in the 95th percentile for their weight. About half of the mothers had early-induced labor and the other half either gave birth naturally or were induced for medical reasons. Of those in the induced labor group, only 2 percent suffered shoulder dystocia; those in the other group had a 6 percent rate of shoulder dystocia.
A birth injury can cause major issues for a child. These injuries may cause a child to experience physical, developmental and even psychological difficulties. In addition to avoiding injuries during birth, it is important that doctors are proactive about ensuring a pregnancy is proceeding properly and deals with potential issues. If someone's child has been harmed due to a doctor's negligence, a lawyer may be able to explain the options for legal recourse.