Birth Injury Prevention

We know that the majority of Erb’s Palsy cases can be prevented.  Therefore, it’s important to educate ourselves about risk factors and to know what to do if these risk factors apply to your pregnancy.  There is no reason to be nervous if you keep these things in mind.


  • Birth weight of infant is over 8.5 lbs.
  • Mother has diabetes
  • Breech delivery
  • Previous child delivered with shoulder dystocia1
  • Small mother
  • Long labor
  • Precipitous labor (i.e. labor that is faster than normal)
  • Fetal malposition in birth canal
  • Labor is induced or sped up by medicine
  • Use of forceps or vacuum extraction tools during delivery*** (This is super important.  These tools can be very harmful to a baby.)
  • Doctor should never pull on or twist the baby’s head.
  • Have a cesarean section for babies who are too large to fit through the birth canal.  In rare cases BPI can happen during C-sections but it is much less likely.
  • Do not deliver the baby on your back. This is the worst position to be in.  Learn about different, more appropriate positions.
  • Have a calm birthing environment, so the delivery is not rushed. Your obstetrician or midwife should seem like they can handle a stressful situation like this with ease.
shoulder dystocia1: when a shoulder gets stuck in the birth canal
For more information about Erb’s Palsy causes and preventions, please watch the video below.  It includes interviews with highly educated professionals in the field who give great insight on this topic.
Do you know of any other risk factors or ways to prevent Erb’s Palsy at birth? 
Please comment below.


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