Charlie - posted on 12/04/2010 ( 119 moms have responded )
DOCTORS are being trained to deliver super-sized babies, including learning how to break their collarbones to free them if they become stuck during labour.
As the obesity epidemic spirals out of control, the newborns - most of whom are born to obese or overweight mums - are so big their shoulders are becoming stuck.
In the most extreme cases doctors have to carry out the procedure to save their lives.
After delivery the newborn is unable to move its arm until the bone heals, which can take weeks. The procedure is carried out on up to 1000 infants in Queensland each year.
Brisbane obstetrician Dr Gino Pecoraro said an increasing number of cases meant junior doctors now took part in regular mock-up trials.
He said obese and overweight women were more likely to give birth to babies over 4kg, with a greater risk of the babies becoming stuck in a condition known as shoulder dystocia.
"This is far more common in the past five years because of the obesity epidemic," he said.
"It is an emergency situation where the baby's head comes out but the shoulders get stuck, compressing the umbilical cord which delivers oxygen.
"We push down on the clavicle with our thumb and finger to free the baby."
In NSW, a University of Sydney and Royal North Shore Hospital study of NSW midwives data collection reports found that almost one in six boys and one in 10 girls now weighs more than 4kg at birth.
It is estimated that the incidence of shoulder dystocia is 1 to 1.5 per cent of all babies with a birth weight of 2.5 kg (5 pounds 8 ounce).
This incidence increases to as much as 10 per cent in babies weighing more than 4kg (8 pounds 13 ounce) and to 22.6 per cent in babies bigger than 4.5kg (nine pounds 14 ounces.)
Of the 66,097 babies born in Queensland last year, 12 per cent weighed more than 4kg and it is estimated about 960 suffered shoulder dystocia at birth.
Dr Pecoraro said despite the risks it was better to let an obese woman try and labour naturally rather than carrying out an elective caesarean.
Dr Louise Farrell, vice-president of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said doctors often could not tell how big a baby was.
"An ultrasound always carries a 10 to 20 per cent error rate, but in obese women it is even harder to get an accurate weight," she said.
All I can say ( as a mother to two large babies 10lbs & 11.1LBS ) 5.3 kilo the biggest is I would much rather be torn from asshole to breakfast than have a person purposefully break my child's collarbone and have such a barbaric and violent start to life before they take their first breath .