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Effect of Shoulder Dystocia on Baby's Face

This photo is of a baby after a shoulder dystocia.

Notice the suffusion (the purple face compared to the normal-colored body), the bruising on the forehead, swollen eyes and the fat lips. The baby is also macrosomic (large-for-gestational age), usually because of insulin issues of some sort. You can almost feel how squishy the baby is from here. Macrosomic babies feel like dough in your hand, the fat squishes between your fingers when you are working on a shoulder dystocia or resuscitation. You can see this baby's moulded head, too.

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Reader Comments (4)

I'm seeing this again for the first time, so to speak. I had a shoulder dystocia in my last birth, and looking at this picture, I thought, "My baby didn't look anything like that!" Then I went and looked again at the pictures taken when she was first placed on my chest and ... she had all these characteristics. I do remember thinking she seemed a little purple in the face, but I didn't see the bruising or the fat lip until now. Aah, mother's eyes ...

(My baby wasn't macrosomic, though. 8 lbs. 4.5 oz.)

September 4, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterchingona

50% of sd's are not LGA babies... under 9 pounds. Sorry you had a sd; glad the baby is well. :)

September 4, 2010 | Registered CommenterNavelgazing Midwife

I think I know how it happened. I pushed for about 45 minutes in the water and got the baby within about a half-inch, but I didn't feel like I could push as well as I wanted and decided to get out of the tub. When I stood up, the baby dropped down very quickly. By the time I was out of pool, she was crowning, and it was then the midwife realized there was a problem, because she wasn't budging, despite being right there. When she showed me later with the doll and model pelvis how the baby needs to rotate and then the type of descent a SD baby makes, I saw exactly what I'd felt when I stood up.

The good thing is that not only was it resolved relatively quickly and safely, the midwife handled it so smoothly that I never felt afraid, which I'm grateful for.

September 4, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterchingona

You can really see on her face that she had a rough time arriving. Glad all turned out well and she is doing great.

September 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFodera Law Firm

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