Doctors 'break babies' bones' during childbirth

Doctors are being specially trained to deliver newborn babies who are too large for a natural birth.

In some cases, doctors are forced to break the collar bones of babies in order to free them after they get stuck during birth.

Australia's worsening obesity epidemic means mothers are giving birth to larger than average babies, according to a News Ltd report.

The babies, mostly born to obese mothers, suffer from a condition known as shoulder dystocia.

"It is an emergency situation where the baby's head comes out but the shoulders get stuck, compressing the umbilical cord which delivers oxygen", Australian Medical Association Queensland President Dr Gino Pecoraro told News Ltd.

"We push down on the clavicle with our thumb and finger to free the baby."

The number of broken bones occurring during the procedure is considered small, but is expected to rise as more and more obese women fall pregnant.

Despite the risks associated with breaking a child's bones, the procedure is seen as a better alternative for obese mothers than giving birth by caesarean.

Around 1.5 per cent of babies are affected by shoulder dystocia, but the number jumps to around ten per cent in babies weighing more than 4kg.

For babies bigger than 4.5kg, the incidence of shoulder dystocia is around 22 per cent.