Stuck In The Womb: Shoulder Dystocia Management

A potentially devastating complication of a routine vaginal delivery occurs with a shoulder dystocia. The shoulder dystocia happens when a mother delivers the baby’s head, but the shoulders remain stuck behind her pubic bone causing a delay or inability to deliver the rest of the body. Occurring in only 0.2 -3.0% of all live births, it has been defined as a prolonged head to body delivery time of >60 seconds or the need for ancillary obstetric maneuvers. Shoulder dystocia is considered an obstetrical emergency and requires immediate recognition and intervention.