What are potential complications from the use of forceps?

On Behalf of | Nov 19, 2020 | Birth Injuries |

In all of the excitement leading up to the birth of your baby in Ohio, it is easy to overlook the fact that the delivery process itself can still be a complicated medical procedure. Despite all of the advances made in medical science in recent years, your doctor cannot always predict when complications may arise with your delivery (or even prevent them from occurring). 

What your doctor can control, however, is how they react to whatever complications your case presents. One common example is doctors reacting to a failure for a delivery to progress is to assist using devices such as forceps. There are legitimate circumstances that may warrant (indeed, even necessitate) the use of forceps during your delivery. Yet the instrument itself can cause harm, and thus the decision to employ it merits scrutiny. 

Potential complications from the use of forceps

An assisted delivery is not meant to make your delivery more convenient; rather, it is only meant to help avoid any increased risk of harm to you and your baby. Using an instrument like forceps can cause injuries to your baby such as bruising, contusions, fractures and internal bleeding. It can also lead to you experiencing increased pain and bleeding due to genital tears. Research results shared by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology also show that the use of forceps can increase your chances of suffering from urinary incontinence later in your life. 

When are forceps warranted?

Per the Mayo Clinic, circumstances that may merit the use of forceps to assist in your delivery include: 

  • A failure to progress in your delivery over an extended period of time 
  • Your baby experiencing an irregular heartbeat 
  • You suffering from a condition such a labor-related hypertension 

Even still, the decision of whether to result in an assisted delivery lies with you. 


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