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  1. #1
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    Default Births after a previous shoulder dystocia delivery

    I was just wondering what sort of experiences other women have had after having a previous shoulder dystocia complicated birth?

    Did you have an elective c-section or vaginal birth?? Were you induced earlier than term? Did you have midwife or obstetric care? What were you told in regards to what the chances were of shoulder dystocia reoccurring?

    I watched an episode of One Born Every Minute yesterday and I saw a shoulder dystocia birth that was almost identical to our situation-I had to turn it off after finding myself sobbing hysterically. I am PETRIFIED of having another child due to our DD's complications, in which she was unresponsive for the first minute. DP and I aren't currently planning any more children but I am thinking that maybe an elective c-section might be best for me next time (obviously pending obs advice when I'm actually pregnant).

    I was just wondering what other women had experienced?

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    I had a severe shoulder dystocia with my first birth and my DD had Erbs Palsy as a result, which resolved by the time she was 18 months old. She was just over 4kgs.
    I have gone on to have two more vaginal births, both induced early, with the condition that if I couldn't push the baby out myself (no ventouse or forceps) then i would go for a c-section.
    For both subsequent pregnancies I had growth scans late in the pregnancy to check bub's size, but also to check that bub's abdominal measurement was no bigger than their head measurement, because with DD1, she was bigger in the body than the head which is why I had difficulty birthing her.
    I also believe that if either of my subsequent babies measured over 4kgs in the late scan, my OB would have recommend a c-section.
    For me, I wanted to avoid a c-section so my OB and I came up with a "plan of attack" for different situations we might come across.
    If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.
    And FWIW, it wasn't until I was pregnant with my 2nd and reading up on shoulder dystocia that I realised how terribly things could have gone. So big hugs. It's a scary thought, but chances are you can give birth easily next time around.

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    MyLittleLilacTree  (03-02-2012)

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    I watched the same episode of One Born Every Minute and sobbed also.

    I'm sorry I can't help but I do know how you feel. My DS was born 8 months ago with shoulder dystocia, he weighed 11lbs 6oz (5.1kg). He was stuck for 4 minutes and stopped breathing for 3 minutes, once they pushed him out. It was such a shock and still is... I too would want an elective c-section. In saying that, DS5 was my 'surprise package', so I have finished having children and will never have to make that decision.

    Prior to DS5 I had 4 fairly uncomplicated natural births. With DS4 I had polyhydramnios (too much fluid) and was induced early. So with DS5 I was 'high risk' due to DS4, and I had being measuring big again, but didn't have polyhydramnios. I was being checked weekly by the same ob at a public hospy, I was booked in on the Monday to be induced or have a c-section, depending on bubs position, as he wasn't engaged. On the friday I started labouring in hospy at a check-up, he was still up high and not engaged, 3.5 hours later he came into this world, if I hadn't had that check-up I would've stayed home for longer and who knows...
    Last edited by sonlou73; 01-02-2012 at 13:16. Reason: spelling

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    MyLittleLilacTree  (03-02-2012)

  6. #4
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    My DD2 was a shoulder dystocia. She was 9lb 15oz (a smidge over 4.5kg). She was easily freed using the McRobert Manoeurve. She was blue and not breathing when she was born. Her right arm was slightly limp after she was born but was perfectly fine the next morning.
    I don't know how that compares to your experience with shoulder dystocia but I blame the whole episode on my labour and not her size. There were alot of things wrong with my labour -- having my 16 month DD1 there, not connecting with my midwife, handing over control to the midwives, expecting that second birth would progress much quicker than first, just to name a few.
    When it came to my next pregnancy, I had a VERY clear framework for how my next birth would be -- basically everything that my second birth wasn't. (No children, connected with caregiver, no expectations, etc)
    Third bub was 11lb (5kg) and was the most beautiful birth and I birthed him as easily as my first bub who was 7lb 3oz (3.something kilo).

    I'm no expert on the matter but what really annoys me about the research relating to the "causes" of shoulder dystocia is that they NEVER mention the pyschological state of the mother during labour. They will tell you that the mother's age and weight can be factors, the sex of the baby, previous shoulder dystocia, the size of the baby, etc. Well, I tick ALL those boxes and never had a problem with number 3 when I had the psychological stuff under control. (By that I mean I felt safe, in control and there were no distractions.)
    They told me that my daughter was too big for me to birth, however she was born vaginally, no tears, no cuts -- if she was too big to fit, she would have had to be cut out. If SHE was too big, how the hell did I birth my son??? When I put that point of view to the doctors they then change their argument to "well, she must have been in the wrong position". So which is it??? Too big or wrong position??? I'll stick with my argument -- it was the labour that was the problem. Fix the labour and you fix the problem.

    Anyway, I don't know how much help that is to you. I just want you to know that just because you experienced one shoulder dystocia, doesn't mean that you will have another.

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    MyLittleLilacTree  (15-02-2012)

  8. #5
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    thanks very much for your replies ladies! DD was 8lbs 6oz so not a huge baby, just 200g above average. She was also quite long so she wasn't a huge lump of cuteness stuck in my pelvis lol. The doctor said it wasn't her size that was the problem rather her position since she was posterior. And her wide shoulders
    I completely agree about the psychological state of the mother affecting complications etc. However in our case I had an EXCELLENT midwife who I LOVED and just my partner and mother there. Everything went according to my "plan" (as much as you can have a plan in labour lol) until I had to have the epidural 12 hours in due to the anterior lip on my cervix. I was relaxed, active and felt very safe and supported...so in my case I think it was definitely more a physical thing than a psychological one. But I see how that could definitely make a difference!


 

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