Tuesday 4 October 2011

Erb's Palsy Awareness Week

October is a busy month! There are many awareness weeks in October and in fact I know of two causes that use the whole month, Infant and Babyloss Awareness and of course Breast Cancer Awareness. and I want to do a few posts about them in the coming weeks. This week is Erb's Palsy Aareness Week. I love and adore facts and was surprised to learn that Joseph Stalin had Erb's Palsy, as did Kaiser Willhelm II of Germany. Martin Sheen also has been affected by this condition.

I've mentioned in the past that I am part of a community of parents on line. One of the mummies that I am friends with is Laura, her son Zeke was born at term, a few months after Joseph. She is, this week,
busy raising money to help the Erb's Palsy Week. If you have even a couple of pounds to spare, please make a donation. For more information and support, you can contact the Erb's Palsy Group.

At first I was oblivious to what Laura had been through, her son Zeke was born with Erb's Palsy. I have to confess, that at that time I had never heard of it. As I heard more of the story of his birth, my heart went out to them. Sometimes we are conditioned to think if your baby is born term, everything will be fine. It is not always the case.

Erb's palsy is, for the most part, caused by birth trauma. It's an effect of shoulder dystocia, where the shoulder gets stuck on the way down the birth canal, and can result in damage to the arm. The severity varies. Some babies will get better on their own, some require minimal intervention, exercises and physiotherapy.

However, some babies require surgery, often into adolescence. The effects of Erb's Palsy can have lifelong consequences.

As Zeke's story has unfolded I have been so impressed at Laura's diligence, in taking him swimming, persuing his exercise routine, and her exceedingly positive outlook, and Zeke has made a full recovery.

It is so important for us all to remember that birth trauma can affect babies and their families well into adulthood, and importantly for me, the lesson is that regardless of gestation, birth trauma can happen, and we need to support and care for one another, and listen and understand.


  1. Hi Kylie
    thank you SO much for your lovely comments about Laure and Zeke and our support group. This sort of information can help so many mum's ( and dad's) who are struggling with their baby's diagnosis and not knowing where to turn.
    from the bottom of my heart, I thank you
    Karen Hillyer
    Erb's Palsy Group

  2. Thank you so much for reading. I am very conscious at times that I talk a lot about premature babies needing special care, but all babies can need treatment in special care and beyond. I think Laura and Zeke are such an inspiration.

  3. Erb's palsy lawyers9 December 2011 at 10:09

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