In some cases, you may need assistance during vaginal birth in the form of a forceps delivery. In this type of delivery, doctors use forceps to help direct your baby’s head out of the vaginal canal. This may happen in instances where pushing is not helping to progress the delivery of your baby, or if your baby needs immediate birthing.
A forceps delivery does come with certain risks, however, including birth injuries if done incorrectly.
Possible risks of a forceps delivery
According to Mayo Clinic’s website, potential birth injuries include the following:
- The fracturing of the skull
- Bleeding within the skull
- Temporary facial palsy
- External damage to the eye
- Facial injuries from the forceps
It is important to note that serious injuries associated with forceps deliveries are very rare.
When doctors might advise against a forceps delivery
In many cases, a cesarean section may be a better alternative to forceps delivery. If your baby is known to have weak bones or a bleeding disorder, for example, it is likely that your doctor will not suggest a forceps delivery. Additionally, if your doctor thinks that your baby’s head will not fit through the vaginal canal, your doctor will most reasonably advise against using forceps and opt for a cesarean section instead.
While birthing injuries associated with a forceps delivery are uncommon, they do happen. It is important to understand all your options during childbirth, as well as the risks associated with each of them. If your baby sustains an injury during birth, it may be a good idea to reach out to a professional who can help you with the matter.