What are the risks of forceps delivery to the mother and fetus?

 What are the risks of forceps delivery to the mother and fetus?

What are the risks of forceps delivery to the mother and fetus?
 What are the risks of forceps delivery to the mother and fetus?

A forceps delivery is a type of vaginal delivery, a method your health care team can help you with when labor has stopped, used only when a vaginal delivery is in its final stages but not progressing, and when your or your baby's health is at risk of prolonged labor. While forceps delivery isn't common, it's a helpful solution under certain circumstances and may help you deliver your baby without needing a C-section. To learn more details about forceps delivery, follow this article in Porto station.

What are the reasons for using forceps during childbirth?

  • When second-stage labor stops, your health care team will monitor you and your fetus carefully. If you have a health condition that puts you at risk, they may want to limit the amount of stress you're doing.

  • If the fetus's heart rate indicates that it is experiencing stress from labor, the surgeon may want to reduce the pressure on the baby. Certain heart rate patterns may indicate that the fetus is not getting enough oxygen in the birth canal. At this time, The team will want to get him out right away.

  • When you need help to deliver your baby safely, there are a few different procedures your health care team can take. Forceps delivery and vacuum extraction are options that can help you deliver vaginally before having surgery. 

What are the conditions of forceps delivery?

Forceps can be used in the following cases:

  • Your health care provider is trained and experienced in the use of forceps.
  • You've been laboring unsuccessfully for a specific period from one to four hours, depending on your health condition.
  • The fetus has descended halfway into the birth canal, where it can be reached.
  • The baby's heart rate indicates that he is under stress and needs to be born soon.

What are the contraindications of forceps delivery?

Forceps are considered unsafe if:

  • The fetus was more than six weeks premature.
  • The fetus suffers from bleeding or a bone disorder.
  • The fetus pushes its arms through the birth canal.
  • The position of the fetus cannot be determined.
  • The fetus looks as if it may not enter the birth canal.

How will I be ready for a forceps delivery?

  • Your health care team will explain the risks and benefits of a forceps delivery, seek your consent before proceeding, and give you pain relievers if you haven't already taken them.

  • To prepare, the doctor will drain the bladder with a catheter if necessary. This helps create more space in the birth canal. In some cases, he or she may want to make an episiotomy — a surgical incision on the perineum — to make more room for the forceps.

How to perform a forceps delivery?

Although they may remind you of kitchen utensils, birth forceps are ergonomically designed for you and your baby, and work as follows:

  • The blades are curved at the ends to fit the shape of your baby's head and curved in length to fit the shape of the carrier's tub. There are also different types of forceps to suit different conditions, including crippled and spinning babies.

  • For this procedure, you'll lie on your back with your legs apart, continuing to push with your contractions and resting in between. The doctor will use the rest period between contractions to place the forceps on either side of your baby's head or feet, one blade at a time.

  • Your next contraction will be used to apply gentle traction to the forceps; To help guide your child out, often using pushing force. If your baby needs to be rotated into a better position for delivery, they will work on it between contractions.

  • Most births with forceps progress with one or two pulls and are completed in three or four. If the forceps don't seem to help your baby advance, the doctor will abandon them.

What happens after a forceps delivery?

  • If the forceps delivery is successful, the delivery will proceed normally. If they're unsuccessful, your health care team may recommend a C-section to help deliver your baby.

  • Once your baby is born, your health care team will check you and your baby for any birth wounds and, if you have an incision to repair, address you.

  • Over the next several hours, the medical team will continue to monitor your child for any signs of complications from the procedure, and if no symptoms appear, you will be able to take your child home.

Is forceps delivery safe?

- Childbirth always carries some risks. It is your health care team's job to reduce this risk to you and your baby if they recommend an intervention such as attaching forceps; It is because they believe that the risks of not intervening are greater.

 - Failure to intervene may mean that you or your baby will go through prolonged labor, especially if the fetus's heartbeat indicates that it is not having enough oxygen.

- The side effects of oxygen deprivation are greater than those of a forceps delivery, if labor continues not to progress, you may end up needing emergency cesarean delivery, which also carries a higher risk of complications compared to forceps delivery.

What are the risks of forceps delivery?

The risks to the mother during childbirth from a forceps delivery are the same as those that come with an unassisted vaginal delivery and can be more common with forceps delivery. Risks may include:

  • Vaginal tears.  Tears are more common with forceps.
  • Rupture of a muscle or rectal wall.  It occurs in about 10% of forceps births, compared to 3% of unassisted deliveries.
  • Difficulty urinating or incontinence after childbirth.  This risk increases with the risk of tears.
  • Prolapse of the pelvic organs.  While this is also common after an unassisted delivery, this risk increases with the risk of a perineal tear.
  • The risks to the baby from a forceps delivery are often mild and temporary. Serious complications are very rare, but may include:

  • Superficial wounds to the head or face.  These heal within a few days.
  • Temporary facial nerve paralysis.  Nerve damage in a child's face can cause temporary muscle weakness and facial drooping, and it resolves within a few weeks.
  • Skull fracture.  Newborn skulls are soft and easier to injure, and most fractures are small as they heal on their own and do not cause long-term damage.
  • Intracranial hemorrhage.  Brain hemorrhage is rare, but can be serious, and your health care team will monitor your child. Check for any sign of internal bleeding after delivery.

Forceps delivery is rare but may be beneficial under certain circumstances. You may not plan for an assisted birth, but labor doesn't always go according to plan. If you'd like to make informed decisions about how to proceed if things become difficult, talk to your medical team beforehand.

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