Shoulder dystocia

Shoulder dystocia is when the baby’s head has been born but one of the shoulders becomes stuck behind the mother’s pubic bone, delaying the birth of the baby’s body (see figure below). If this happens, extra help is usually needed to release the baby’s shoulder. In the majority of cases, the baby will be born promptly and safely.

This information is for you if you wish to know about shoulder dystocia. You may also find it helpful if the birth of your baby was complicated by shoulder dystocia. It may be helpful if you are a partner, relative or friend of someone who has been in this situation.

The leaflet can be downloaded as a pdf by clicking on the link below: