8.6 Shoulder presentation
Shoulder presentation is rare at full term, but may occur when the fetus lies transversely across the uterus (Figure 8.7), if it stopped part-way through spontaneous inversion from breech to vertex, or it may lie transversely from early pregnancy. If the baby lies facing upwards, its back may be the presenting part; if facing downwards its hand may emerge through the cervix. A baby in the transverse position cannot be born through the vagina and the labour will be obstructed. Refer babies in shoulder presentation urgently.
Do not attempt to turn a sideways lying baby. Unless a trained physician or midwife can turn the baby ‘head down’, it must be delivered by caesarean surgery.