doctors breaking babys collarbone?

[deleted account] ( 97 moms have responded )

my sister in law heard that doctors in victoria are now being taught how to break the babys collarbone during birth if it is a big baby to make it easier to be delivered i was shocked and horrified to hear this, as a mother and expecting my 2nd child in april.
as a mother i personally think it is wrong and am concerned as to what kind of trouble it could cause in the weeks after this is performed not to mention if this could cause trouble later in life.
have any of you heard this and what is your take on it?

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Alison - posted on 12/04/2010

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I am a labor and delivery RN, and fracturing a baby's collarbone is not mean or barbaric, it is a lifesaving measure used by doctors as a last resort in an emergency situation. it is never an option, or a regularily performed practice. If the shoulders cannot pass through the pelvis, even the hugest of episiotomy's will not help. Episiotomy's involve tissue and muscles of the perineum, and shoulder dystocia's occur because of a discrepancy between baby's shoulder width and moms pelvic outlet, which is made of bone, obviously. A shoulder dystocia is most often unpredictable, unless the mother has had a previous shoulder dystocia delivery, and even that is not necessarily predictive. There is no time to get to an OR when you have a shoulder dystocia, as the baby's head has been delivered and the rest of the body must be delivered quickly. That is why a properly broken collarbone is a vital lifesaving technique that every doctor delivering babies should know. A baby with a broken collarbone is a far better outcome than one who doesn't survive the delivery, or one who is permanently disabled due to hypoxia.

Jodi - posted on 12/03/2010

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I would assume that most of the time, if it looked like a risk, they would schedule a c-section, but sometimes, they can't always know that the shoulders won't fit. From what I gather it is an art to estimate these things.



Also, if it is a matter of shoulder dystocia, apparently it is difficult to predict and needs to be dealt with relatively quickly.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoulder_dy...



IF there is not a surgical team on standby for a c-section to be performed immediately, I can understand why they would be required to do it. I guess they have to go with the lesser of the two evils, and being trained on how to break the clavicle may avoid permanent nerve damage to the shoulder and a variety of other complications.



As Emma said, I doubt it would be very common.

Jodi - posted on 12/03/2010

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Did you read the full information? I highly doubt they are going to break collarbones for the sake of it. The problem is super-size babies that mothers want to deliver naturally, and it is only in EXTREME cases they are being taught to do this.

If you are not obese, you keep your diet healthy, and your baby remains a fairly normal size, you won't have an issue.

http://www.couriermail.com.au/lifestyle/...

Shane - posted on 12/04/2010

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I think they should be able to do it...but ONLY if the baby is in danger of suffocating and they need to get bub out asap. I had an episiotomy as my little boy was stuck due to shoulder dystocia. He came out quite blue and as soon as he was out there was about 6 midwives and 2 dr's around the table getting oxygen into him. I just kept asking 'why isn't he crying, why isn't he crying' I even tried to climb off the bed to go to him...drips hanging out, covered in blood and not even stichd up yet, if I hadn't of been o out of it due to the pain, I would've made it too. As it is it took my fiance' (who is 6 foot 4 and damn strong) all his strength to hold me down. My little boy is 100% healthy now, but if it came to it, I (or my partner) would've agreed to them breaking bubs collar bone, I;d rather have a baby with a broken collar bone than no baby at all. But as I said, ONLY as an absolute last resort.( I tend to rave on a bit, so sorry for the length =p)

Heather - posted on 12/03/2010

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Its actually HIGHLY dangerous to do a c-section once the baby's head is so far through the birth canal that the shoulders have gotten stuck.

I personally would choose a broken collar bone over permanent nerve damage from the shoulders getting knocked out of place (Shoulder dystocia).

I had a c-section with my son (emergency because I never dialated and both our O2 sats were dropping rapidly) He had a 14.4 cm head & 17.2 cm shoulders. Had a gone through with natural labor it is HIGHLY likely he would have gotten stuck.

So dont think Im thinking of this as a mom who had a tiny baby. He was 8 lbs 13 ozs 21 inches long. 1 day past my due date, I am not obese, nor did I have gestational diabetes, he just ended up being incredibly large!

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Kbeen1993 - posted on 09/04/2014

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They broke my son's collarbone when he was born. I was 16 and small and his head had already come out, so when he got a little stuck they didn't have a choice but to break it. He was 10lbs and 22" long and I had only gained 37 lbs throughout my pregnancy. No diabetes, both completely healthy. He's 4 now and I've seen no problems with it and he has never complained of pain. He did have to wear long sleeved onsies and had to have the sleeve safety pinned to his side for a few weeks until it healed.

Christina - posted on 12/19/2010

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Nope I havent been reading the posts, this subject was in my email and i just responded to it with my opinion, But thanks for the info. Like I said I never heard of them doing that, my bad. =) Have a good one! Id choose a broken collar bone, but its still nothing for anyone to look foraward to. Its still pretty sad for a baby to go threw that and watch your baby be in pain. But I understand.

[deleted account]

Christina, haven't you been reading the posts? It's a last-minute emergency option for when it's too late for a c-section. The alternative to a broken collarbone would be a dead or brain-damaged child. But it's your choice.

Christina - posted on 12/19/2010

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They should not be doing that to babies! Thats what C-sections are for! That is horrible and I hope you dont have to endure that frightning ordeal. I have not heard that myself and if they did that to my child without me signing anything I would be sueing! Thats horrible!

Brenda - posted on 12/17/2010

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Breaking bones to new borns? I dont think so their bones are to soft, it takes to much force to break a child bone, but maybe twice it and misplace it, could be, but I know they should have a good explanation to it and a good reazon, I kind of trust our doctors now days, they are very smart..However Is your child your decision.

Jennifer - posted on 12/17/2010

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My son was stuck and the doctors ended up using the forceps to turn him (he was sideways). I ended up tearing all the way after I pushed him out. I would take a front to back tear over them breaking my childs collarbone anyday.

Michelle - posted on 12/17/2010

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Hi Alysha,

Please don't worry about Dr's randomly breaking collarbones. This is a practice that has been taught and used for many years and is done in an emergency. The purpose of breaking the collarbone is to help a large baby pass through the birth canal if it is too late to convert to a c-section. This would happen if the baby is already stuck in the birth canal. If they don't break the collarbone, it can lead to a prolonged labor, causing anoxic (lack of oxygen) brain injury or worse.

My brother (34 years old) had his collarbone broken at birth. Believe me...no problems now. I believe the baby doesn't even need casting after birth. It's better to have a broken bone than a baby with cerebral palsy, or possible death to baby or mom.

Hope this puts you at ease.

Sara - posted on 12/17/2010

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My first baby was 8lbs 4 oz, but me being only 5ft tall that is a big baby for me. It is not something that they would do just for the heck of it, its only if the shoulders are too broad and the head is already out. My son got stuck after his head was out of me, I couldn't delvier his shoulders. The nurse had to grab a stool to stand on and than push up high on my stomach (much like during a c-section) to apply pressure. The next step was breaking his collarbone and shoulder to get him out before he couldn;t breaht anymore. It is called shoulder dystocia and is common with big babies, mostly boys due to the broader shoulders. I delivered my 2nd (a girl) with no issue at all, and she weighed 7lb 10oz.

Meaghn - posted on 12/17/2010

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My first born was a larger baby (8lbs 16oz and 22 inches) and I am not a big woman (5'2" and 118lbs pre pregnancy). She did get stuck, and they wound up having to yank her out with forcepts. Had she been any larger, the only way to get her would have been to break her collarbone. Either that or an emergency c-section with her already crowned. I don't know which would have been worse. I would rather have a doctor trained on how to do it safely than for a situation to arise and them be saying, "Crap, now what?"

[deleted account]

I know my husband and his brother broke collarbones during the birth process (not by the doctor though) and both are fine. I haven't really asked his mom about issues just after being born. My husband was about a 6 lb baby but my brother-in-law was like 9 lbs. Talk to your doctor about your concerns and see if they know the rational behind it and you could always request to avoid it at all possible.

Amanda - posted on 12/16/2010

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My daughter was born with a very rare bone condition.... Osteogenesis Imperfecta (Brittle Bone Disease) which causes her bones to break very easily. She has broken 3 long bones (tibia twice and femur) before the age of one. Although the experience and the pain of broken bones in babies is extremely difficult, it does not compare to losing your child altogether. If an emergency break needs to happen... go for it. In our experience, bones heal. A baby's death can not be undone.

Danielle - posted on 12/16/2010

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I found out at my sons collar was broken when he was three days old. the hospital didnt tell me, my pediatrician informed me. so we wrapped and cared for it like the doctor said. then we were informed when he was 5 months old that he had over extended all the muscles surrounding it. he is now 6 months old, and it is almost completely healed. although he is behind on his physical development, he has not let it stop him. after reading all the posted responses, i now better understand why the doctor may have done what he did. although i do wish he informed me when he did it, id prefer a broken collar bone over his death.

Autumn - posted on 12/16/2010

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When my son was born they were wanted to break his shoulder so they could get him out. Luckly they didnt but I wasnt shocked to hear it, its a common practice if the baby is stuck at the shoulders in your hips. I have a friend whos son actually was broken. I would like to think that its not something they would do lightly but I am also glad to hear they are being taught to do it, at least they have a better chance of doing it right. ><

[deleted account]

I watch a lot of discovery health and have seen this. It is a last resort when the baby's head is already delivered and cant be delivered the rest of the way. After the head is delivered, it's too late even to opt for a c-section. It is a way to save the baby's life as the baby in some circumstances can die in the birth canal if in distress and the mother is not able to fully deliver it. It's not too common but I'd personally rather the doc break the collarbone and have a live child than for the doc to allow the baby to perish.

Chancey - posted on 12/15/2010

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My 2nd was a huge baby and we had no clue. She was 10lbs 6oz but since I have a long torso she hid it well. For her delivery I choose to watch in the big mirror and let me tell you watching her head crown and then slip so far back in I could no longer see her was the scariest time of my life. At that point the ob jumped up, ordered more nurses, and a nicu team. By the time they were able to get my little girl out I couldnt have cared less if the ob would have broken her collar bone. Once baby was revived and finally breathing the ob then explained that her collar could be broken. Did I care? NO! I was just thankfully my baby was BREATHING! Turns out she had shoulder dystocia which lead to stretched muscles in her shoulder. Took her months to heal but now at 3.5 you'd never know her entry into this world was a traumatic one.

Melissa - posted on 12/14/2010

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The Dr. broke my oldest son's collarbone on purpose.

His head was coming out but his shoulders got stuck so it was either they break his collarbone or one or both of us would have died.

This can cause some major nerve damage. although with my son it wasnt to bad, he had no use of his arm for about three months. He is 8 now and although his arm will never be 100% most people cant tell that there was ever anything wrong.

When you are in this suituation there isnt time for the dr. to tell you that they have to break the collarbone and there is no going back for a c-section. I was just happy to have my baby alive (and healthy other then the broken collarbone) and myself alive .

Usually the baby's head is bigger then the chest and if it passes through the pelvis bones the chest will too... will my son was 9lbs. 10.5oz, his head was 36.5cm and his chest was37cm. that .5 of a cm made all the difference... he was 1.5 weeks early.

i had 2 babies after him naturally without any problems, but then i had my 4th and i had an ultrasound that told me he would be about 10lbs 8oz, and since i went through alot with my oldest i asked for a c-section and when i had this one he was 10lbs 6oz , his head was 36cm and his chest was 40cm.

Alecia - posted on 12/13/2010

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sometimes a baby's collarbone breaks on its own...or an arm. my baby was technically term at 37 weeks but weighted only 5 lbs 14 oz. her shoulders werent anywhere near stuck, but i had to have an episotomy because her head was starting to tear me as she crowned. i was stitched almost 'all the way'....and let me tell u it was awful to heal!! (though id rather that than tear), but if a baby has shoulder dystocia, they require a bit more drastic measures. it may seem cruel but if it were my babys life or a broken bone, i would choose the broken bone. once a baby is that far down, a c section usually isnt possible to save the baby

Kiera - posted on 12/13/2010

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what the?? its the most horrible thing i have ever herd if the baby is that big have a ceaser if not suck it up and handle the stiches why would anyone do this



however as a last resort i guess i can kinda figure drs are better off knowing how to do it the right way than do more damage



but it still sounds wrong



i would also not worry about it too much i am sure it is a really small percentage that this could happen to and its something u would just have to deal with in the moment



it still sounds wrong

Erinna - posted on 12/13/2010

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I thought shoulders getting stuck was quite rare. All the birth films I have seen, the head is the largest part and the rest of the body just slips out. That was how my sons birth was. But in extreme circumstances sometimes doctors have to do unpleasant things to save your baby's life.

Jodi - posted on 12/12/2010

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Oh well, to all of you ladies who think it is inappropriate, or wouldn't have let your doctor do it, are you aware that often the alternative is a dead baby? Or a brain damaged one? Would you rather have that? Didn't think so......

Shannon - posted on 12/12/2010

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never heard of it but let me tell you if the doc had dont that to one of my kids he would have gotten my heel in his jaw......no way in hell i want my newborns bones broken. They can feel pain and i dont think thats right. Its aweful!!

Isobel - posted on 12/11/2010

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I haven't finished reading all the responses but I just have to say this...Loureen...This isn't about ripping an tearing...it's about the baby being stuck behind a bone while their head is (almost) out...I would gladly accept all the tears and stitches that I required to stop my baby from having a broken bone...but I would still choose a baby with a broken bone over one that is dead or that has permanent brain damage from having their head stuffed back in, in order to get the rest of them out.

Kelly - posted on 12/11/2010

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My son was born with a broken collarbone and had to wear a brace for a month. Now I'm curious if it was done on purpose. Ughh.

Angela - posted on 12/10/2010

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I am going to school for nursing and when i took my A&P class, my teacher was a retired ob/gyn, he talked about it and said he had done it. the way he talked it was perfectly safe and heal very quickly and he had actually done it a couple times. but with babies with any broke bone is going ( or should) heal very quick.

Sara - posted on 12/10/2010

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When my daughter was born i had people ask me if the dr broke her collar bone to get her out. She was stuck at her shoulders. My daughter was a very large baby at 10 lbs 5 oz. Luckily my dr got her out safely and unharmed. I did ask at one of the appointments what would happen if they wouldnt have gotten her out and one of the choices was to break her collar bone so that she was easier to get out.

Katie - posted on 12/10/2010

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I have not heard of it. My biggest concern about it is the poor mother who takes that baby home. The poor thing would be irritable from the pain and not get much sleep. Besides everytime the mother would pick the child up by the armpits he would scream out in pain. I know in a baby that young that the bone would heal rather quickly and would then become the strongest bone in their body, however I do not agree with it whatso ever! I would have a c-section 10 times over before I would let the doctor do that!

Jodi - posted on 12/10/2010

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No need to apologise Alysha, it was an interesting topic to discuss. I am glad you read all the information and understand why it is done when it is necessary!!!

[deleted account]

APPOLOGIES
i see that this may have caused a little frustration for some i should have worded it differently i do appologise im not very good at the computer thing lol. I was just trying to find out what other moms thought and knew on this topic.
After reading all of your comments i now fully understand from all points of view and why they have decided to do this. although i still hate the idea of hurting my new baby if it is being done to save his life then i have to say i agree no matter how much i would hate it.
again appologies for my wrong wording.

[deleted account]

My second son was born in 1 hour and 45 minutes so I had no time for any painkillers. He got stuck and I was given an episiotomy with no pain relief but if I were instead offered that they break one of his bones to save his life I would definitly choose to be the one to suffer the extra pain. I know that babies bones heal fast and well but I broke my collar bone at 9 and it never healed properly.

Ashley - posted on 12/09/2010

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and my son was 2 wks early...if he would have went full term he prob would have been about 10 pounds and we wouldnt have known it

Ashley - posted on 12/09/2010

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yea we my have techology to say how big our babies are but thats not always correct. Usually ultrasounds are wrong on the babys weight. 3 wks before my baby was due the ultrasound said he was weighing at 8 pounds 4 ounces. I told my doctor he said there's no way that baby is that big. Ultrasounds are usually wrong. Doctor figured about 7 pounds....well he ended up being 8 pounds 14 ounces. I wouldnt have had a c-section as thy figured the ultrasound was wrong because they normally are off by a couple of pounds. If the doctor absolutely had to break his collar bone to get him out safely then thats what they have to do. I'd rather have a baby with a broken collar bone than no baby because he ended up suffocating while they decided wat they needed to do. Deliveries can take some bad turns and you need to be prepared for the worst sometimes.

Rooja - posted on 12/09/2010

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Oh and if the baby is stuck behind pubic BONE, an epi will not help as an epi does not cut the pubic bone.
If the baby is stuck for too long, decreased blood flow to its brain can result in either fetal death or cerebral palsy-type neurologic injury

Rooja - posted on 12/09/2010

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ok .. its not what you think it is. I actually read about that when i was pregnant with my daughter and it was my WORST fear going into labor.
Ok .. the deal is .. there can be a rare complications during labor, that the child's head is delivered but the rest of the body is stuck behind the pubic bone. Now, that is not the time to even operate. Because even if u perform a c-section, u cant get the head back behind the pubic bone and thus u cannot take the baby out that way. So in such a sad situation, the only thing left for the doc to do is break (chills and shivers down my spine) the poor baby's collarbone. It is a case of choosing the lesser evil. You cant keep the baby stuck there for ever ... and collar bone fracture will heal.
I pray to God that such a situation never arises for someone

Amanda - posted on 12/09/2010

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If you have already started delivering natural you can not have a c-section. If they infant has become lodged in the birth canal the only help a c-section can do is that the doctor actually pushes the baby out and another doctor does the delivery. Which can produce serious problems for both mother and infant. If you look around online you can find all the information about this procedure. They have eight different steps to try first before they go breaking bones. But in most cases the doctor only has minutes to get that infant out. Now what if your baby died from shoulder dystocia because they didn't get him or her out fast enough. What would you say then if you found out that all it would take was one break and they would be here. Oh and if it is a common practice and a taught practice 90% of the time you wouldn't win in court if you sued over the broken bone. The baby is alive and that is how it is looked at. I have a lawyer friend and I asked.

[deleted account]

WHAT????? um hell no, don't break a single bone on my baby's body, if he is too big give me a damn csection!

Amanda - posted on 12/08/2010

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Not that I agree with them breaking a bone but it may be the only thing left. Before judging what they are doing do your research. Both mother and child can die for shoulder dystocia. This is being called a last resort procedure. If they have tried everything else they then break the collar bone. They have very limited amount of time to save the infant as the umbilical cord is being crushed and the infant can't breath, in most cases. If it came down to saving my sons life I would have let them. Better to be alive then with a broken bone then possibly both of us not making it. In most cases a bone will break during shoulder dystocia. It just depends on which one. I would also rather them know how to break it right then just "winging it".

Sandy - posted on 12/08/2010

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I have heard of this. Babies bones heal pretty fast, not that that makes it any better for the mother. Doctors have done this forever, and I think I'd prefer it to having a C-section.

Nancy - posted on 12/08/2010

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No there should not be any problems with walking. Babys bones are soft and break easy. And children do not take as long to heal. Verses you breaking a bone it takes longer to heal. It usually heals within a couple of weeks. And articles I have read the baby did not act like they were in pain.

Nikki - posted on 12/08/2010

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Cant this damage the baby and possibly cause problems with their walking?
What if they cant fix it?

Nancy - posted on 12/08/2010

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They only do this if baby is stuck. And and the suspect the imbilical cord is caught and there is no airsupply going to the baby, the baby can only approximently 4min without air then it could result in brain damage or death.The baby's bones are easy to break just slight pressure in a certain spot. They would only do this if it is too late for c-section. and baby is half way out. It is very rare . They are probually teaching this just incase a case like this happens.

Jodi - posted on 12/07/2010

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I'm kind of disturbed that so many women would choose a brain damaged or DEAD baby over a baby with a broken bone...but if that's your priority...

Elysia - posted on 12/07/2010

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i have not heard of this but i guess its possible. My younger brother had to have his collarbone dislocated when my mum had him as his shoulders were stuck. but this was almost 19years ago.
When i had my son 21months ago his shoulder was wedged under my pubic bone so they had to twist him to deliver the rear shoulder first to allow room to bring the other one down. then when i had my daughter 5months ago it took an awful lot on manouvering and calling the doctor as she was being delivered by the midwife, but in the end she came out as well.
At ur next check up as the midwife or obgyn.

Caitlin - posted on 12/07/2010

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Do people read other peoples answers before jumping to disgust? It's called shoulder dystocia.. It has nothing to do with getting stuck on flesh, but on the pelvis.. A c-section is NOT an option at that point, and the repercussions of NOT breaking the collar bone are cutting off the babys oxygen supply leading to brain damage or death. Of the shoulders are really stuck, there is no other option, this is used as a last case scenario and ALL dcotors should be trained to do it. Midwives don't frequently tak eon high risk patients, and will refer a mom to a OB if she forsees issues with this, but it's not always predictable due to physiological factors..

If the doctor breaks your baby's collarbone, then they will tell you, and it will be really and truly broken, and would show up on a physical exam. I'd chose a broken collarbone over a brain damaged or dead baby any day...

Kelli - posted on 12/07/2010

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My son was born via emergency c-section b/c he was too big for to be delivered naturally. I'd much rather take the pain and recovery of a c-section than have my brand new baby be in pain from a broken collarbone. I've not heard of this, but I'm horrified! I don't care what the reasoning is behind it is, it is not an option in my mind.

Amanda - posted on 12/07/2010

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I haven't heard this but it is sickening I would not want and hate for a doctor to do this to my child. This is horrific and if a doc told me that would have to be done I would refuse!!! its wrong.

Erika - posted on 12/06/2010

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My second child was 9.6lbs and his collarbone was broken...but not by the doctor, His head came out and he was stuck with the cord around his neck and blue...he gave me a episiotomy? To get him out in a hurry, We didnt even know his collarbone was broken till an hour before we left the hospital. I would hope doctors would not do this as a routine thing, But it does happen naturally. My son is fine by the way...it healed on its own and so far it has not caused any problems.

[deleted account]

Vanessa, did you read the earlier posts, where it was explained they don't just do it for fun, but in an extreme emergency, where not getting the baby out could lead to far more horrible results than a broken collarbone? Would you like to have a baby stuck halfway in and halfway out of you?

[deleted account]

I have never heard of it until now and I am shocked. No way would I be okay with anyone breaking anything on my baby. You are right, imagine what trouble it could cause later. They may say now, that there is no issue, but who can't be sure. And as far as I know, if you have broken something before, it is easy to break it again? Or something? Either way, it is terrifying. I would not be okay with that. Simply put, how would the doctors like it if you said, "I will break your collar bone so you can fit through the door better," or something. D:

Kris - posted on 12/06/2010

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Wow I hope that's not true lol. Makes me glad I didn't have a dr deliver my "little" 10 lber (we had a midwife).



I know they do it for extreme cases, hopefully she heard about that and just assumed they're doing it more routinely.

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