Used correctly, forceps can be helpful medical tools. However, when they are used improperly, they could cause serious harm to a baby. They have been known to cause brain bleeds, developmental delays and cerebral palsy, among other issues.
Forceps are used on occasion to assist with a vaginal delivery. Forceps, which look like salad tongs, are designed to cup the baby’s head and help guide them out of the birth canal. The forceps shouldn’t pull on the baby Instead, they should be used to guide them out during the mother’s contractions.
When are forceps used?
Forceps are normally used when labor isn’t progressing. They may be used if a mother has high blood pressure or other medical concerns that require the birth to be sped up. If the baby’s heartbeat is too fast or slow and they are low in the birth canal, a medical provider may also suggest forceps to help with an immediate delivery.
A forceps delivery isn’t always a good idea. There are times when they shouldn’t be used, such as when the baby’s head isn’t past the midpoint of the birth canal or when the baby’s head is too big to fit through the mother’s pelvis.
A forceps delivery comes with risks, such as a uterine rupture, long- or short-term fecal or urinary incontinence (of the mother), lower genital tract tears and others.
If you or your child are hurt because of a forceps delivery, it’s important to know if the injuries could have been avoided. If you were a victim of malpractice, then it’s important that you have the opportunity to seek justice.