- The doctor will insert one piece of the forceps to fit one side of the baby’s head.
- Then, they will insert the second piece to fit into the other side of the baby’s head.
- The forceps will be joined at the handles.
- With the contractions and your pushing, the doctor will very gently pull the baby’s head using the forceps to guide them out of the birth canal.
What Are the Risks of Forceps Delivery?
Experts say there are possible risks to both mother and baby, although their occurrence is rare.
Potential risks to mothers:
- Increased risks for lacerations in the vagina, perineum, and urethra.
- Urinary incontinence (short-term)
- Increased blood loss
Potential risks to babies:
- Minor facial injuries, like bruising
- Facial muscle weakness (short-term)
- Skull fractures. Please keep in mind, however, that skull fractures can likewise occur during CS delivery, particularly when the baby’s head is already at the pelvis.
When is Forceps Delivery Contraindicated?
The doctor will not recommend assisted delivery if the cervix is not fully dilated, the membrane is intact, and the fetal head has not descended yet to the birth canal.
Also, assisted delivery is contraindicated if the fetal position is unknown or there is cephalopelvic disproportion where there is a mismatch between the fetal head and the mother’s pelvis.
Forceps delivery is a form of assisted delivery where the practitioner helps guide the baby out of the birth canal with the use of an instrument. The main advantage of this method is it helps prevent major surgery. However, although rare, there are still risks associated with it.
Learn more about Giving Birth here.