Shoulder dystocia with 1st baby now pregnant with 2nd and worried – pregnancy chat forum electricity billy elliot


DD was born in 2015. It was an induced labour with epidural. I was on my back all through the labour. DD’s shoulder got stuck and we ended up with forcep delivery and 2 midwifes pushing on my belly to get her out. She was fine, not a scratch on her, weighting juts over 9lbs. I took about 3 months to fully recover down below. Needless to say it was a traumatic experience.

I am now 30 weeks pregnant with my 2nd daughter and I am worried that she may also get stuck. I am consultant led and they have explained that there is still a higher risk but with it being my 2nd the risk is lower than 1st time. I was also given the option of an elective c-section.

We had a scan today and DD is measuring on 50th centile so if you believe this is accurate it is good news and it makes me feel a bit better about vaginal delivery. However I am aslo feeling guilty for taking the risk if I were to choose vaginal delivery. What if she gets stuck and this time there is more complication? What if she gets hurt?

She was of a similar weight, I had a long protracted back to back labour which ended up with hormone drip to move it on, episiotomy/forceps and turning of the baby at the mid cavity (in theatre) as she wouldn’t descend properly into the pelvis. Then on delivery I had to have mcroberts manoeuvre and the baby was born limp and lifeless with a poor apgar score. It was actually terrifying. We had stretched nerves and reduced movement temporarily and many months of physio but a healthy daughter in the end.

My second pregnancy I was terrified of the same thing happening. I spoke to the consultant at 16 weeks about it but I had low pappA in this pregnancy so they were scanning for growth issues anyway so I’d get a rough idea of how big he baby was. I was convinced it was size related. So at 28/32 weeks the baby was right at the top of the charts an dlooking to be massive again so my options were induction at 37 weeks or csection at 39. I didn’t want a section but that was the option that removes the risk entirely but has other issues obvs. My 36 week scan revealed a drop in the growth rate so they booked me in for induction at 38 it happened I went into labour naturally on the very day of the induction.

I’d read about spinning babies to ensure optimal positioning for birth and was doing abdominal lifts during contractions which I’m convinced helped. That and sitting up straight on the bed. No laying down. Anyway the second labour was an absolute breeze. I had like a few hours of strong pains some g&a and the baby was born with like 3 pushes.

Firstly I don’t think you should feel guilty whichever you choose. Personally I’m terrified of a section. Baby is going from transverse to breech so if my option ends up a section I’ll be hysterical. So for me I’d try natural but I’ve not been in your shoes. I tore but never had anything traumatic happen like you did with yours.

Isn’t it a option that you could say you want to start with a vaginal delivery with the knowledge that if a time any point they think it’s not going to happen with the shoulders, you can then get a section? Surely everyone knowing that in advance would take the emergency out of it, with you stating that no ventouse or forceps be used?

Can’t you say "I’ll try pushing but I don’t want anyone forcing her out, pushing on me etc. If she’s not coming then I want transferred up to theatre" I’m not sure if that even helps or is a viable option to be honest hun . But they do say elective sections are a lot easier than emergency ones. And if that ends up being an easier recovery and less emotionally traumatic then feel free to go for it with no guilt. Xx

What I read from your post is that a series of interventions caused your traumatic labour and the shoulder dystocia. Being induced probably meant the baby was not in the right position before labour began. Being on your back narrows the pelvic opening and an epidural limits your movement making it hard for the baby to turn into the right position. Of course sometimes interventions are necessary but if it is possible for you to have a more active, natural labour this time that might be enough to solve the issue. MWs who are experienced with birthing positions can also be a great help. Studies have shown that 80%of shoulder dystocia can be solved by simply moving the woman into a hands and knees position without any further interventions (try Googling The Gaskin Maneuver). Obviously the choice is totally yours and I can understand why you might choose a CS but it is worth considering your options.

But there is a significant amount of evidence to suggest that inductions, hospitals, unnatural positions can all drastically increase the need for interventions… It sounds like in your heart you don’t want to have to resort to a section but obviously you have to do what you feel is best anxiety during the labor is going to slow things down anyway x

I didn’t plan on having an epidural but 3 days labor, i was shattered and asked for one. Im glad i did in the end as i had forceps and episiotomy which healed perfectly. I remember at the time the surgeon said it better to have that than to tear and I just said, " you do what you think is best" and im glad because she was wonderful.

I am 12 weeks pregnant and I too have been worrying about what this time round will bring. My midwife says that even with what happened with my first I am extremely low risk and is really encouraging me to have a home birth. She says, second births are usually a lot quicker and easier.

Because I am a worrier, I said I want to give birth in hospital but I am willing to try naturally. I will however go with the flow and if i want an epidural, i will have one. I work in maternity theatres so i have some knowledge, i certainly wouldn’t have a C-Section unless it was an emergency but thats just me. It is major surgery. Also, all the lady anaesthetists i work with have ALL had epidurals.