Obstetric brachial plexus palsy is an injury in newborn babies that is often associated with increased force on the neck during passage through the birth canal. This puts excessive strain on the brachial plexus and causes nerve injury. Obstetric brachial plexus palsy results from injury to the cervical roots C5–C8 and thoracic root T1. Although it has been known for patients to make a spontaneous recovery, there is a large subset who do not recover and require primary or secondary surgical intervention. This article discusses classification of the differing injuries within obstetric brachial plexus palsy, its prevalence and its aetiology. It also discusses the impact that the injury can have on individuals and the role of healthcare professionals involved in the diagnostic phases.