Shock of birth

Shock of birth is the transient depression of muscle tone and deep tendon reflexes that occurs in newborns after birth. In 70% of newborns, it lasts less than 24 hours, and in 84.3% less than 48 hours. Its presence is not affected by whether birth happened through vaginal delivery or cesarean delivery.[1] The term was introduced in 1960.[2]


  1. Riesgo Rdos S, Rotta AT, Rotta AT. (1996). Shock of birth. Evaluation of neurologic status of term newborn in the first 48 hours of life. Arq Neuropsiquiatr. 54(3):361-8. PMID 9109977
  2. Escardó F, Coriat LF. (1960). Development of postural and tonic patterns in the newborn infant. Pediatr Clin North Am. 7(3):511-25.
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