Forceps delivery helps to bring out the baby with the forceps when mother is exhausted of pushing. Find out more about this method of assisted delivery.
According to reports about 1 in every 8 women are known to go through assisted deliveries. Assisted deliveries refer to cases when ventouse or forceps are used to bring out the head of the unborn child.
Here are stated the conditions, when this is chosen as an option:
When your doctor is concerned about the heart beat of your little one.
When your baby is in a breach or awkward position.
In cases you are too exhausted of pushing.
Forceps delivery is generally considered safe and is used only when absolutely necessary. The cases of assisted delivery are not very common among who have gone through vaginal birth before.
You may be given local anaesthesia to numb your vaginal area if you have not got an epidural. In case your doctor feels there may be complications, you may be suggested a Caesarean section. This condition arises when your doctor feels it is not possible to bring out your baby with the forceps.
Sometimes doctors may suggest widening the vaginal opening with an episiotomy. If you suffer from tears or cuts of any type, it shall be healed with stitches. You shall rely on your doctor for the right decision.
What are Forceps?
Just in case you are wondering what these forceps are, these are metal instruments that look like tongs or spoons. These are curved slightly to fit the head of the baby. The instrument is positioned carefully on the head and the handles are joined together. As you push, your doctor shall pull your baby gently and assist you in delivery this way.
Forceps tend to be of different types. Some of them are designed specifically to turn the baby in the right position. When compared to the ventouse, these are more effective. A ventouse may result in tearing of your vagina.
When are Forceps Used for Delivery?
Much before caesarean sections were possible, forceps were used to help a baby stuck in the birth canal. They can only be used when the first stage is complete and the cervix is fully dilated. Nearly all premature babies are delivered by forceps to protect their delicate skull bones through the birth canal.
Under what Conditions Does a Doctor Decide to Use Forceps?
The doctor would consider using forceps if the baby's head was engaged and labour suddenly ceased, or the baby's presenting was in a posterior position (as in breech baby) or under conditions of prolonged labour and foetal distress.
How is Forceps Delivery Carried Out?
The doctor will first administer a local anaesthetic into the perineum and perform an episiotomy. He or she will then cradle the baby's head in the curved, blunt blades of the forceps (which look like sugar tongs), to form a protective cage, and gently bring the baby's head down into the perineum. Then the forceps are disposed with and the rest of the delivery proceeds as normal.
Associated Risk Factors
Forceps are generally considered safe, however; it is important you are aware of the associated risk factors as well. You have every right to discuss with your doctor the reasons why you are suggested an assisted delivery. Some of the risk factors associated are as follows:
You may suffer from vaginal tearing. The rectum and anus walls may be involved in the tearing. However, you shall be taken care of with dissolvable stitches.
Blood Clots in Pelvic Region
Chances of blood clots in your pelvic region or legs increase. This can be prevented by keeping yourself mobile. Your doctor may suggest you to wear anti-clot special stockings and inject heparin to reduce chances of blood clots.
Incontinence can be another issue in this case. However, you need to remember that this is highly common after delivery. Nearly 3% of women are said to be affected by this. Physiotherapy sessions can be helpful in such cases.
Anal incontinence also becomes a concern after forceps delivery. This generally happens if you have undergone a forth or third degree cut. It has been estimated that around 27% of women undergoing forceps delivery suffer from this.
Probable Risks for the Baby
Here is the list of risk factors that you should be aware of:
Your baby may develop a mark on his head that shall disappear in 48 hours.
His head might get bruised, which however shall no longer be visible with time. The chances of jaundice may increase slightly as a result of this.
Your baby may get forceps marks on his face. This too shall disappear with time.
The good news is none of these shall become a cause of concern for you. However, you can always consult your doctor for more information on this assisted method of delivery.
When is forceps delivery option considered? How does forceps assist in delivery? What are precautions to be considered after forceps delivery? Discuss here.
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- The Indiaparenting Team