My baby has a flaccid arm

Postnatal, Your questions

I gave birth 3 weeks ago, and find that my baby has one arm that is more flaccid than the other. When I raise it, it quickly falls down and is much softer than the other. Should I be worried, Marie? Thanks in advance, Anne-Sophie


Anne-Sophie, excellent observation, and you must talk to the doctor monitoring your baby as quickly as possible. After childbirth, some babies will have what is called perinatal brachial plexus palsy, and this situation needs to be followed closely. You may be referred to a neurologist or a physiotherapist for observation and recovery of their muscle strength.

Perinatal brachial plexus palsy is a possible complication after childbirth. When the brachial plexus is severely stretched, it’s often difficult to remove the shoulders during delivery. This leads to damage to the arm nerve.

Palsy can be partial, affecting the arm, elbow and shoulder. In 20-30% of cases, it can be total, affecting the hand.

This type of palsy is usually unilateral. The diagnosis is often precise after delivery, as the newborn has an arm that doesn’t move while the other does without a problem. In about 1% of cases, the palsy occurs in both arms. The lack of tone in your baby’s arm may be mild and went unnoticed, but you have to have it checked anyway.

The doctor will attempt to prevent other complications and will do different additional tests to evaluate the state of the nerves and ensure adequate follow-up.

Self-healing is possible and depends on the type of damage, but we don’t know how long it will take precisely.

Anne-Sophie, I hope this helps, and prepare your observations and questions for your doctor for your next appointment.

Talk soon,

Marie

The Baby Expert

Discover our videos

Subscribe to a monthly or quarterly package now to access full videos.

Osteopathy During Pregnancy

Osteopathy During Pregnancy

Osteopathy can help soothe pregnancy ailments. This alternative practice can help safely reduce discomfort for mother and baby. Marie, along
The Midwife Profession

The Midwife Profession

Johanne Royer, a midwife, talks with Marie about her profession. What type of training did she get? What’s her role
Birthing room

Birthing room

Delivery rooms in hospitals have changed the way we experience the arrival of a baby. Take a guided tour with
The Bonapace method

The Bonapace method

Are you nervous that your baby is coming soon? Do you have questions about your role as caregiver during labour

Discover other articles

My baby has a bump on his neck!

My baby has a bump on his neck!

Marie, my 4-month-old baby has a bump on his neck. The doctor said it was a fatty mass, but I would like to get more
Applying the Filiation Concept to Assisted Procreation

Applying the Filiation Concept to Assisted Procreation

To read the previous part of this article, go to Filiation…or, how can I prove I am the father or mother of my child? The
Will I know if I break my water in the pool?

Will I know if I break my water in the pool?

I am worried about breaking my water in the pool and not knowing...Is this possible? Charlotte Yes, Charlotte, it’s possible, but if it happens, you
How to Increase Iron in an Infant’s Diet

How to Increase Iron in an Infant’s Diet

In a recipe, replace half the flour by twice the quantity of iron-enriched baby cereals.

My baby has a flaccid arm

Par Marie Fortier Temps de lecture: 1 min
0