You’ve been in labor for over 18 hours and although you are fully dilated and have been pushing for what seems like forever, your baby still hasn’t been born. Your doctor believes that he is stuck in the birth canal, and may need help to squeeze through. He suggests using forceps to quickly guide him out before he becomes too distressed. Unfortunately, there isn’t much time to waste, so he needs you to make a decision on whether or not you want him to proceed with the forceps, or prep for an emergency C-section.
You have no idea what to do? Are they Safe? Could they hurt your baby? What are the risks?
Common Newborn Delivery Risks of Forceps Use
Birthing forceps are tools used in difficult deliveries in order to help guide, and essentially pull, your baby out of your birth canal. They’re primarily used in instances where your baby’s shoulders become lodged inside the canal, or you can no longer push hard enough to successfully move the baby to delivery. Since your baby has already progressed into the birth canal, a cesarean (C-section) becomes more difficult. Therefore, your doctor will most likely turn to the forceps as a way to help extract and deliver your little one.
The forceps—which resemble large salad tongs—are placed inside your vagina, cupping your baby’s head. Once the forceps are in place, your doctor will gently squeeze the forceps to provide a sturdy grip, and then use them to slowly pull your child’s head toward your vaginal opening. Unfortunately, this procedure can sometimes have critical effects on your baby due to the pressure of the forceps, and any possible twisting or jarring your doctor may do in order to pull him out.
Common Pressure Injuries
- Minor facial lacerations or bruising
- Temporary weakness in the facial muscles (facial palsy)
- Eye trauma
- Skull fractures
- Bleeding within the skull
- Brain damage (resulting in seizures, cerebral palsy, paralysis, and cognitive issues)
Twisting or Jarring Injuries
- Neck trauma
- Nerve damage
- Spinal cord injuries (resulting in paralysis or death due to being unable to breathe)
Getting the Help You Need After Your Delivery Hurt Your Baby
Although forceps assistance is used less often now than in the past, according to research taken from the Mayo Clinic, approximately five percent of deliveries still require their use. Regrettably, this means that for every 20 expectant mothers in your hospital’s birth ward, one of them will need the help of forceps—and that one could be you.
If your child suffered permanent, severe, or fatal injuries as a result of forceps being used during your delivery, you are entitled to compensation. Contact us today to discuss your child’s rights for treatment and damages. It’s easy to feel helpless after seeing someone hurt your flesh and blood, but there is something you can do to get the justice you both deserve—call now. The consultation is free, but the knowledge, peace of mind, and guidance you will take away is worth much more.
Make sure your family and friends are aware of these forceps delivery dangers before it’s too late. Share this information on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus by clicking the media icons on this page, and you could wind up helping to prevent a tragic accident.