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What is Forceps Delivery?
It is a type of assisted vaginal delivery which is needed in the course of vaginal childbirth. In a forceps delivery, a doctor applies forceps to the baby’s head to help guide the baby out of the birth canal. It is usually done during a contraction while the mother pushes.
Why is it done?
A forceps delivery is considered if the labor meets specific criteria like:
- Your cervix is fully dilated
- Your membranes have ruptured
- Baby has descended into the birth canal headfirst, but you are not able to push
- Your doctor may recommend a forceps delivery if:
- You are pushing, but labour is not progressing
- Your baby’s heartbeat suggest a problem
- If you have certain medical conditions like heart disease or high blood pressure.
What are the possible risks of Forceps Delivery?
- It can cause a risk of injury for both mother and baby, and the possible risks include:
- Pain in the perineum
- Lower genital tract tears
- Difficulty urinating
- Injuries to the bladder
- Uterine rupture
- A weakening of the muscles and ligaments.
How should you prepare?
Before your doctor considers a forceps delivery, he or she might try other ways to encourage labour to progress. The doctor might adjust your anaesthetic to encourage more effective pushing and intravenous medications to stimulate stronger contractions.
An epidural or a spinal anaesthetic is given before the procedure if it is not done for an emergent reason. A catheter is placed in the bladder to empty the urine. The doctor may also make an incision in the tissue between the vagina and anus to help ease the delivery of the baby.
What can you expect?
During the procedure
The doctor will ask to lie on your back, slightly inclined with your legs spread apart. You will be asked to grip hands on each side of the delivery table to brace yourself while pushing.
During contractions, the doctor will place two or more fingers inside the vagina and beside your baby’s head. Then gently doctor will slide one portion of the forceps between his or her hand and the baby’s head and other portion of the forceps on the other side of your baby’s head. The forceps will be blocked together to cradle the baby’s head.
During the next few contractions, you will push, and your doctor will use the forceps to guide the baby through the birth canal.
If the delivery of the baby is certain, then the doctor will unlock, and forceps before the widest part of the baby’s head passes through the birth canal.
Forceps delivery is not always successful. If delivery using forceps is not successful, then the doctor might recommend a C-section for delivery.
After the procedure
After delivering a baby, your doctor will examine you for any tears that might have been caused by the forceps. Your baby will be monitored for any signs of complications.
At Motherhood Hospital we try to meet the unique and changing medical needs of women from adolescence to mature adulthood. Our team offers coordinated and supportive care for the programs that affect women’s lives from infertility, incontinence, gynaecological cancer, pelvic floor disorders, menopause and more.
We provide comprehensive gynaecological services, including:
- Annual gynaecological exams
- Pap smears
- Well-woman care
- Adolescent gynaecology
- Breast exams
- Family planning and contraception
- Preconception counselling
- Management of symptoms of menopause
- Evaluation and management of menstrual irregularities
- Gynaecologic cancer and colposcopy
- Evaluation and treatment of PMS/PMDD
We also care for a full range of conditions including pelvic and vaginal infections, sexually transmitted diseases, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and pelvic pain.
At Motherhood, the surgeons are experts in all approaches from minimally invasive procedures that reduce pain, decrease the duration of hospital stay and shorten recovery time, to more complex open surgery.