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Will My Baby Get Stuck?

Real information. NO scaremongering.

I get how scary it must be, people tell you ALL the time. 'My baby got stuck, its a good job the hospital were there to 'save' us'. You might even have this experience yourself. You may fully believe this to be the way birth is, scary, risky, full of problems. I wouldn't blame you its not your fault........but it's also not true.


WHAT DOES GETTING STUCK MEAN? The medical term for a baby getting stuck in the birth canal is called a shoulder dystocia. It is when babys head is born but their shoulder stays lodged behind the pelvis.

HOW OFTEN DOES IT HAPPEN? The true occurrence of shoulder dystocia is between 0.6% and 3% depending on the study you use. So, lets go with worst case scenario, you've got a 3% chance of this occurring, so a 97% chance that it wont.

WHAT CAUSES IT? (still only 3% chance)

  • Bigger babies

  • Diabetes

  • Abnormal pelvis (you'd know)

  • Being older when giving birth

  • Epidural use

  • Induction of labour or augmentation

  • Assisted deliveries (forceps etc)

LETS CRITIQUE.... When being told about this, it usually comes in a conversation about a baby measuring big. In reality this is only one increased chance of it occurring and it is still only 3% chance. Adding in a few layers like, estimations of babies size in utero are wildly inaccurate so baby may not even be big anyway. Then the biggest problem to me is that the answer to the big baby fake problem is induction of labour. This in itself is a risk factor for shoulder dystocia and this increases the likelihood of you needing an epidural and having an assisted delivery which increases the risk of shoulder dystocia again. So the solution increases the chance of the problem occurring, IT IS NOT WORKING.

WHAT IS THE ANSWER THEN?? I don't fully know, but i know the current way isn't working. I would say the answer lies in things that reduce the likelihood of shoulder dystocia occurring. Things like,

  • active upright birthing.

  • instinctive maternal positions.

  • instinctive pushing.

  • spontaneous labour.

Another thing to add about shoulder dystocia is that usually it is rectified instinctively by the mother changing position, if this doesn't work there are maneuvers that the midwife can support you with to free the babys shoulder, and it only causes injury in 10% of cases (out of the original 3%) which means there is 0.003% chance of injury occurring even if a shoulder dystocia occurs.

Here is a link to a great study analyzing it all, if you want to read further.

If you found this interesting and want to learn more about birth and unpicking it all. Please check out my range of courses starting from £30.

See Courses by clicking here

This Mum Hypnobirthing 07482161336 view the website

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