One Born Every Minute - Who's had a Forceps delivery?

(283 Posts)
Treadmillmom Mon 07-Feb-11 23:03:55

Mum of 3 fortunately all text book natural un aided deliveries.
I've just watched tonights One Born Every Minute and the forceps delivery, I am stunned!
The midwife seems to be putting her back into it, dragging the baby out, is that okay for the baby? How is it possible the baby isn't born with neck injuries?
Also mom, doesn't having 2 metal tongs inside you not shred and bruise you?
Tell me please, I was totally grimacing as if I were there.

LawrieMarlow Mon 07-Feb-11 23:08:05

I had a forceps delivery. Didn't much like looking at them in One Born Every Minute as I was at the other end IYKWIM grin.

My nether regions were in a bit of a mess afterwards but a lot of that was due to internal stitching after having a PPH so not directly due to the forceps.

DS didn't have any problems with his neck - he did have some bruises on his head but these faded quickly.

NormaDesmond Mon 07-Feb-11 23:09:25

I had forceps delivery after episiotemy as ds was 'back to back' and I don't remember much about it....

i had one, luckily i never knew what an actual forceps looked like before, i was stunned when i did eventually see one, and yes it hurt like crazy,. ds was fine though.

LOL!!! My firstborn twin (1981) was born using forceps - around his eyes he looked like he had been in a boxing match. Within a couple of days he was fine. My second born twin was delivered feet first [massive ouch emoticon]. However the delivery was nothing like the shock of finding out I was having twins 10 days before they were delivered at 38 weeks!!!!! grin

I also had an epidural (would never ever have one again) because I had pre-eclampsia and they needed to get my blood pressure down quickly. I went on to have DS3 in 1984 - totally normal delivery and DS4 in 1997 (when I was almost 41) when I was 20 days overdue - he was a ventouse delivery!!

<<wanders away mumbling to herself about pregnancy, babies and her own mental state LOL>>

orchidblossom Mon 07-Feb-11 23:12:45

Gaawd they look like barbecue tools (shock)

actually dh does mention ds slightly elongated head, but he was perfect in my eyes.

Flisspaps Mon 07-Feb-11 23:14:37

I had a forceps delivery. DH said it was like sorme sort of medieval torture - the registrar had his foot up on the end of the bed and everything.

I do not really remember. I am glad that I do not remember.

Fortunately I didn't feel any pain afterwards. Even with the third degree tear sustained when the registrar didn't tell me to stop pushing as DD crowned hmm To be honest though, when they've cut your fanjo and stuck a pair of huge salad tongs up there, a bit of bruising isn't really an issue.

I did wonder though about how the babies don't get neck injuries. Poor DD had a horrendous black and bloodshot eye

defineme Mon 07-Feb-11 23:16:24

They turned dtwin with forceps as she was facing wrong way, but I then pushed her out-she had no bruising-the consultant did it.Had an epidural with twins because after ds1 back to back I was never going back to that and certainly not twice!

Ds1 was back to back and came out that way-think that's why I got stuck pushing him out for so long-nothing but gas and air.

Yes, forceps delivery with DS1. Didn't hurt as they did a 'pudendal block' - local anaesthetic - so I could feel contractions and feel DS moving through the birth canal which was very weird, but no pain at the 'site of forceps!'

Had an episiotomy (I thnk they always do one?), stitching that wasn't too pleasant as the anaesthetic was wearing off but it healed well once the swelling had gone down.

DS1 had forceps marks on his head for a few days afterwards and was quite battered and bruised. The hardest thing was getting him to feed, it took almost 5 days until he'd recovered and had the energy to.

Forceps birth looks worse than feels IME.

defineme Mon 07-Feb-11 23:17:52

Nothing obvious except stitches for me either.
Forceps may look brutal but babies died before they were invented-they are a good thing!

Yes, ds was pretty mashed up - bruised face, swollen eye and nerve damage in one side of his face.

I had a spinal block and was given a lot of morphine afterwards so luckily didn't feel too much.

sunndydays Tue 08-Feb-11 08:31:48

I had forceps, no epidural, the massive African Male consultant was pulling with all his strength....back to back baby, had only been allowed to push for half an hour. She had a headache for a few days (apparently) and was a bit swollen. I on the other hand couldn't sit down properly for three weeks

ajandjjmum Tue 08-Feb-11 08:36:01

Ds was born with forceps but was fine. I'd had a spinal so it wasn't awful. I've still never seen what the forceps actually look like - won't bother looking now. grin

Bicnod Tue 08-Feb-11 08:44:10

OP I was totally shock at the forceps delivery as well. I'm due DC2 in July (I was lucky enough to have no intervention with DS) and spent most of yesterday evening after watching that saying to DH 'don't let them do that to me ever EVER EVER!' Looked terrifying. Really really really hope I get away without intervention again. I'm scared now! confused

catwhiskers10 Tue 08-Feb-11 08:45:21

I had a foreceps delivery, DD was fine afterwards and apart from feeling a bit tender, so was I.
Tbh by the time it got to that stage I couldn't have cared less what they were doing to me!

Flisspaps Tue 08-Feb-11 08:47:09

Bicnod I was adamant in my birth plan that I Did Not Want Forceps. It was the one thing I drummed into DH. I had made the mistake of venturing onto the ragged bits thread one day when pregnant.

By the time the registrar turned up I would quite happily have done the episiotomy and used the forceps myself. Hell, I'd have done it without the pudendal block, anything to stop the pain and get DD out.

BeeBox Tue 08-Feb-11 08:51:55

I was delivered by keilands forceps and have a scar on my head from them <eek>

lol@Flisspaps. I was the same about c-section. I couldn't even contemplate the thought of a section pre-birth. I didn't bother reading the bit about sections in the pregnancy books. The whole concept was unthinkable.

By the time I had been through 24 hours of hard labour and still wasn't fully dilated, the word 'caesarean' was like a beautiful gift. I would quite happily have hacked off my own arm just to GET THE BABY OUUUUTTTTT.

Bicnod Tue 08-Feb-11 08:53:25

Flisspaps - yes, I do seem to remember not giving a flying f**k what was going on down there at the moment of delivery. After 2 hours of pushing I just wanted him out! Luckily he came of his own accord but I'm sure that next time if it doesn't happen like that I won't care about forceps or anything else for that matter.

Still scared though.


Artichokes Tue 08-Feb-11 08:54:22

I had a forcep delivery. The doctor had to brace her foot against the bed to get enough strength to pull. It was barbaric. DD1 was born with a cut on her head and a bruised cheek but amazingly did not seem distressed. I had a massive PPH (more likely with forceps) and my nether regions took about 8 months to fully recover.

I would never, ever have another forceps delivery. I would much prefer a c-section even after along labour.

TBH I am not sure why forceps are still used. Do the use them in the US does anyone know?

CuppaTeaJanice Tue 08-Feb-11 08:55:47

Everyone talks about forceps as if they are just one thing. There are different kinds, from ones that just gently lift out the baby and are often used in cs too, to Neville Barnes mid-cavity which I had, where a bit of tugging is required but no 'foot on the bed' business. I managed to cope without an epidural!

I assume the ones you are talking about are keillands forceps, for high cavity extraction and situations where rotation is required. They are the ones that make people scared of all types of forceps, when in reality the first two sorts aren't too traumatic and are a very useful tool.

JetLi Tue 08-Feb-11 09:02:37

Similar as defineme - they used the forceps to turn her & then I pushed her out. So I wasn't particularly shredded but did have an episiotomy. DD had a mark on her face on one side, but it was gone by the next day.
We went to theatre to have it done as we were a whisker away from an EMCS. So it didn't really bother me TBH - I was happier not to have had a section, having already laboured for more than 36 hours.
That said, I'm hoping to avoid any instruments this time around!

CilantroLarry Tue 08-Feb-11 09:15:48

They attempted a ventouse with dd so not forceps but the level of effort was the same. She was too high for even high forceps. The surgeon had his foot up on the bed and was swearing with the effort. He pulled me off the bed. DD's head was torn by the cup and she was very bruised (but bruised anyway as she'd been stuck in deep transverse arrest with her head wedged sideways in my pelvis). She had a very bad headache and some muscle damage.

But it was try and get her out instrumentally or her not come out at all. I'd have agreed to them letting a trained chimp pull her out if they'd said it would work.

expatinscotland Tue 08-Feb-11 09:20:36

I had H-F forceps with DD1, my first, who was OP and had her hand up cupping her head over her ear.

Other than a slight bruise on one side of her face and a scratch on the other, she had no problems at all.

I had stitches, of course, but no long-lasting effects.

I had an epidural.

You do realise it's not unheard of to use forceps during a CS?

mawbroon Tue 08-Feb-11 09:28:51

DS2 was a forceps delivery, but I don't remember which type. I was just on G&A and a local anaesthetic for the tiny episiotomy.

It didn't hurt, ds2 was fine apart from a tiny graze on his forehead and my black and blue fanjo recovered in a couple of weeks.

And I am mighty glad that forceps worked because the next option was a cs because ds2's heartbeat had dropped too low.

We are caring for a baby born by a forceps delivery and watching last nights episode explained to me exactly why he looked the way he did when he arrived at ours the following day.

The side of his face, actually both sides but one worse than the other, was badly bruised, his eyes where puffy and his head seemed oddly elongated so that from the side he looked like a little alien.

As others have said though, he was absolutely fine after a few days and at almost 5 months now, he is an utter joysmile

MaybeTomorrow Tue 08-Feb-11 09:39:08

My DD was born via Ventouse and like someone else's experience, the Consultant had her foot on the bed with the force that she was pulling! I was shocked, it was more the way she shouted at me though, like we were in the Oxford V Cambridge boat race! "And push and push and push and push and push" I very nearly swore... wink

When DD was born her head was badly mishapen and cut and her eyelid was damaged and wouldn't open past half-mast. She had an op at Xmas (18 months old) to hold it open which hasn't worked and so she will need to go through it again at some point. sad

But my BF's DS was born with a Ventouse aswell and his head was ripped so badly that they couldn't even hold him and she could never breast feed him as he would scream in agony when she tried to hold him in a way that would enable him to feed. I've seen the pics (didn't know her at the time) and it looks really awful. He's fine now though! smile

As for me, it took 12 weeks for me to able to walk properly and even now, 20 months on, every time AF turns up, I'm in agony down there. Next time I will be insisting on an ELCS!!

expatinscotland Tue 08-Feb-11 09:41:10

I had a ventouse with DS and you couldn't even tell.

No episiotomy, he was my 3rd, but I did have a 2nd degree tear that needed stitched.

Carikube Tue 08-Feb-11 09:41:31

DD1 was forceps but I didn't feel anything as they had given me a spinal block (thankfully! - I'd been pushing for 5 hours before that so was a tad tired). DH was very concerned about me though as he didn't realise how complete the pain relief was so when both registrars (there were 2 there for some reason) started pulling and one of them had a foot on the bed he feared what I was going through...

Couldn't sit down for 2 weeks afterwards mind you and DD1 had forceps marks down both sides of her face for a few days afterwards. We did take her to a cranial osteopath as my MW recommended this to help ease any trauma she may have suffered and I would honestly recommend this to anyone who delivered by forceps.

slug Tue 08-Feb-11 10:03:17

I had a forceps delivery with no pain relief (one of the reasons I only have one child confused) I have a vivid memory of the doctor with one foot on the bed putting all her weight into dragging DD out.

DH was a forceps delivery, he has a small bald spot above his ear where the forceps permanantly damaged the skin.

Dumbledoresgirl Tue 08-Feb-11 10:11:36

I had a forceps delivery for my first baby. The doctor (a huge man with hands like dinner plates I recall) took hold of the forceps and pulled so hard, I slid down the bed and nearly off the end! For the second pull, I had a mw on one side and dh on the other, holding my arms and pulling against the doctor as he pulled my baby out. It sounds brutal, and I guess it was, but my baby was in stuck and in distress and he needed to come out straightaway. This hospital didn't do epidurals so all this on G&A, pethidine, and I think a local jab before they did the episiotomy.

The after effects: yes ds had bruises on the side of his head, but they soon went and I don't think he was damaged in any other way. He is a perfectly bright 14 year old now (I was going to say "pleasant" but he is 14, iykwim!). I had had an episiotomy so yes I had stitches and no I couldn't sit comfortably for a week or so. I do remember crying a couple of days after the delivery because the whole labour had been so frightening. But I got over it and went on to have three other pregnancies and labours, so it wasn't that bad.

valiumredhead Tue 08-Feb-11 10:40:44

I was a forceps delivery apparently - my baby pics are not pretty - my head is a very odd shape!

TheSecondComing Tue 08-Feb-11 10:59:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Very similar story here, DS delivered with forceps, I had a spinal block (thank goodness) and an episiotomy that didn't cause a massive problem to be honest. DS temples though were bruised, his eyes where puffy and his head was oddly elongated too....he didn't seem to be too distressed but what worried me most in the first couple of days was that he would throw up a lot of his milk (midwives insisted he kept some in so I calmed down in the end).
He also had a lump on his neck which sent me into histerics as I thought I could be a lymph node, turned out to be his neck muscle being torn (or twisted) and I had to do some gentle exercise with him.
We also took him to a cranial osteopath at MW recommendation, it seemed to help the lump dissappear but I can't be sure as it was supposed to get better by itself anyway.

Definitely wouldn't choose to have a forceps delivery if I could help it. If we have a second child, it will be natural unaided or cesarean - nothing inbetween!

GandalfyCarawak Tue 08-Feb-11 11:04:00

My first was forceps, and I remember them having to pull as if it was a tug of war. In fact, I had forgotten till this thread, so thanks wink

He was bruised with a big cut on his head, slight conehead, otherwise fine.

FoghornLeghorn Tue 08-Feb-11 11:04:03

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FoghornLeghorn Tue 08-Feb-11 11:07:12

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ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Tue 08-Feb-11 11:12:22

Watching OBEM last night reinforced to me that I will opt for a csection over forceps (given the baby hasn't decended too far).

I was shocked by the force used to pull the baby out, even dh commented about how awful it must be for mum and baby.

but forceps are not used as a matter of routine, just when necessary. they look worse than they actually are. imo

SimplyTes Tue 08-Feb-11 11:19:53

Had ventouse followed by forceps, watched one being born through fingers last night.

DS1 had swollen head and some bruising. Took DS1 to cranial osteopath for some sessions as think the traumatic birth lead to problems sleeping (actually I was willing to try anything to get him to sleep for more than 90 mins at a time wink)

solo Tue 08-Feb-11 11:22:11

My ds was delivered by Keilands as his head was turned to the side and I couldn't get him out. I had a spinal block and an episiotomy. Ds had a small red mark on his forehead that was gone in a couple of days.
It took me a very long time to get over the epi (about a year!) and the drip that is supposed to be given after a spinal, wasn't put in in the right place, so didn't work and that was horrible, plus I had PPH and a transfusion which ended up with me having an infection in my hand where the needle site was; that was painful too... Wish I'd just tried to push harder tbh and done it myself.

Normal delivery with no intervention with Dd.

jenniec79 Tue 08-Feb-11 11:25:44

I was a forceps delivery! I do have a bit of an odd shaped head in most of my baby pictures, but after a month in SCBU, and 32 years just getting on with things, I think I've turned out ok in the end.grin

All I can't do these days is wear equal sized bunches (strange as I do really have a normal shaped head now), but as an ortho surgeon it's not something I'll lose sleep over - there are other hairstyles shock!

Nippolopolis Tue 08-Feb-11 11:52:18

I had a mid cavity rotational forceps delivery with DS. Consultant had one leg on the bed and was sweating and swearing. I still have flashbacks about the huge pool of blood I glimpsed under the operating table as I was wheeled to recovery.

Didn't actually mind the procedure, had a spinal and was desperate to get him out at that point. Was in A LOT of pain for weeks afterwards though.

DS had no issues, not a mark on him and I went on to have two lovely, natural births without pain relief.

Verso Tue 08-Feb-11 12:03:06

DD1 was a forceps delivery and it was unbelievably horrible, painful and traumatic, for both of us. I still get flashbacks six years on. My DD had huge black bruises and cuts all over her head from failed ventouse and aggressive use of forceps. I ended up doubly incontinent, unable to walk from the pain for several weeks. The "feeling better by six weeks post-birth" idea was just a joke. I had a third (almost fourth) degree tear, stitches, massive haemorrhage, and had to re-learn how to control my bowels and bladder in the next couple of years. Yes. Forceps deliveries ARE that bad.

The after "care" was a joke. I ended up back in hospital. Dreadful, dreadful experience.

Needless to say DD2 was a planned caesarean and I get very very angry when people say that women shouldn't be allowed to have them.

I'm glad I am not the only one who is shocked! I am pregnant with my second, but my first was a planned c-section so this (hopefully) will be my first natural delivery. DH and I watched OBEM and I was wide mouthed!
Shall be reading all the thread shortly to try to reassure myself...

carolondon Tue 08-Feb-11 12:06:11

I had on my birth plan NO FORCEPS under any circumstances mostly because i had read so many horror stories on mumsnet.
predictably they had to use forceps, however, it was totally fine. I already had an epidural so there was no pain. They cut me and DS had a slight mark on his face but we were both fine the next day. i could hardly feel my stitches and didn't even need the pain killers they gave me and was up and about as soon as the epidural wore off.
i am posting this not to seem smug but to reassure people that it can be a positive experience. I wish i had read more positive forceps experiences on here before my birth.

memphis83 Tue 08-Feb-11 12:09:14

i had forceps, the woman doing was shaking she used so much force, i had a mobile epidural so could still feel pressure and when i shouted your going to break my pelvis she said i assure you im not, ive put something up there to stop it breaking!!! then i said my babies head!!!but she ignored me, i had over 30 stitches and had to have a cathether for 3 days as they mashed my insides up so much, the forceps they used on me were 2 seperate pieces

AllieAG Tue 08-Feb-11 12:09:58

I was shocked at how much effort the doctor put in! I never imagine it like like, I thought it was just a gentle pull!

Acinonyx Tue 08-Feb-11 12:11:47

Dd was forceps. I had a spinal block though so it seemed pretty easy at the time (following a horrible labour).

Dd's face was very bruised on one side and she has a very tiny scar now under one eye.

I was really knocked up though and spent 9 days in special care. I had a lot of pain inside, especially around my tailbone, and didn't walk properly for about a year. OK after that though. If I had been able to have another they assured me I would get CS.

All worth it of course and I would do it again if that was the only option or I could have another. You have to take the looong view....

baggabones Tue 08-Feb-11 12:12:01

I had an epidural and episiotomy and they used neville barnes forceps. I'd only just had the epidural so felt absolutely nothing at the time but was incredibly sore for 4 weeks afterwards and it took months for me to feel like my nether regions were back to normal.

My little boy had a few marks on the side of his head but other than that seemed absolutely fine. How do they manage to not get neck injuries though?!

fairtradefloozy Tue 08-Feb-11 12:12:30

I was born by forceps delivery myself, and still have a scar behind one ear from the delivery "tongs". I am still alive, and have no memories of it, but my dad goes slightly pale whenever my mum mentions it ...

crapbarry Tue 08-Feb-11 12:13:01

I had a forceps delivery - it was fairly barbaric - DH had nightmares on the rare occasions he got some sleep for a few months after DS was born. I was a bit of a mess - 2nd, borderline 3rd, degree tear, episiotomy, got an infection in the tear, had small PPH. But DS was born (finally!) after a 3 day labour (he was slightly at the wrong angle, and had to be rotated), and relatively unharmed - he was bruised and a bit cut on his head, but that went away after a few weeks. I think I have a photo of him on my profile from when he was a few hours old, and you can see the cuts around his eye, and a huge bruise on the side of his forehead. It took me some time to recover, but I'm mostly fine now 16 months on. I absolutely cannot watch OBEM though, gives me flashbacks to labour and the delivery.

I'm going to be demanding a c-section in preference to a forceps delivery with the next one!!

recycledteen Tue 08-Feb-11 12:13:09

DD1 breech, C-section. DD2 head down, back to back, natural birth. Forceps delivery. Much to labour team's amazement, 3.8kg baby came out looking perfect. No bruising or flattening.

Really hurt me though. Due to tearing rather than neat episiotomy, made a bit of a mess at the time.

sparechange Tue 08-Feb-11 12:16:43

DH was a forceps delivery
He has got a slightly wonky mouth which he was told is nerve damage from the forceps
Not sure if that is 100% true, I've only got his word for it

oranges123 Tue 08-Feb-11 12:26:14

They tried forceps with DD and I gather there was a lot of dragging and pulling to no avail, according to DH - I don't remember really. I came within an ace of an episiotomy (the doctor had the instrument in her hand I understand) and then she decided to go for a caesarean as DD's heartbeat was dropping. That was GA so I have no idea what they used and how they got her back up into pelvis after presumably having dragged her some way out.

DD had bruising on her head for a few days but was otherwise fine and I am very grateful I didn't have to heal down below as well as along my caesarean scar. I know others aren't always so fortunate!

clara10 Tue 08-Feb-11 12:26:24

DS was a forceps delivery after a long labour and 2hrs of pushing. Consultant had foot against bed and was sweating with the force, 2 assistants were holding me down as at first few pulls i moved down the bed with the pulls, even with legs in stirups. PPH, 3rd degree tear which took about 6 months to return to 'normal'. Couldn't sit properly or drive for about 3 weeks. DS was very bruised and couldn't turn head to right side for 3 months. He was very fretful as a newborn.
DH is still in shock.

DD was an elective section.

LadyOfTheFlowers Tue 08-Feb-11 12:30:04

Like OP, I have had 4 natural, un-aided deliveries and I couldn't watch last night.

I am feeling even luckier than I did already that I have escaped pretty easily in that department after seeing it done.

I too was wodering how the baby does not end up seriously injured. confused

I shouted to DH in other room 'They are doing a forceps delivery and the MW looks like she is in a tug of war contest - she is actually leaning back as she pulls!'

Suchffun Tue 08-Feb-11 12:34:31

I had 2 x failed ventuouse attempts, episiotomy, then forceps with DC1. He had a cephalhaematoma (sp) but was fine apart from that...

It wasn't much fun, DS was showing signs of distress, and there were tons of people in the room all being very worried and purposeful, but I'd had an epidural (regret that in hindsight as I think it all went downhill from there) so I was pretty spaced out. I remember the midwife being really strict that I needed some paracetamol NOW to stop me being tachycardic or something and finding it hilarious.

notyummy Tue 08-Feb-11 12:43:13

I was born in a forceps delivery and so was DD. It is pretty brutal tbh - and poor DH was a bit traumatised. I am glad I didn't have to watch!! The worse bit was that I had no pain relief apart from the local jab around the episiostomy site, so it literally felt like I was being ripped in half. I had been v calm and quiet right through labour, but I couldn't help the noises that came out of my mouth when he inserted them and then started pulling. DH said it was like an animal being slaughtered (he didn't say that to 'get' at me btw, it was just the only way he could think of describing it.)

However I did have a relatively easy recover, although a lot of stitches.

KenDoddsDadsDog Tue 08-Feb-11 12:47:24

I had one, DD was distressed and they needed to get her out fast.
It was really surreal but I remember every bit of it. The consultant had her foot on the bed base pulling like DD was a calf.
I must say though that although I had bad bruising and stitches I have had no issues afterwards.
The main thing for me was that I felt I had failed to give birth properly. DD had big tong marks on her head and was bruised and swollen. I have no photos of her in the first 24 hours as I was so shocked and thought everyone would say she was an ugly baby sad

BabyGiraffes Tue 08-Feb-11 12:49:00

I was incredibly lucid after 24 hours of labour and totally and absolutely refused forceps! They tried ventuose which came off immediately, leaving a small gash on dd's head. I then pushed her out myself... just needed a little more time!
I know forceps have their time and place but they scare me silly. I would always go for cs if in doubt.

MilaMae Tue 08-Feb-11 12:54:01

I was forceps and a complete mess apparently (black eyes,scratches and more). My mother had been in labour nearly 2 days and apparently dad would have lost us both without them(so I was always told).

My dd had got engaged prior to my C/S,took some serious manhandling to get her out,dp says it was like a rugby scrum.I'm guessing babies are hardy little things.

openerofjars Tue 08-Feb-11 12:57:12

I had ventouse after DS got stuck, and was just about to have a crash cs when they decided to get the sink plunger out. To be honest, the stitches after the episiotomy were the worst bit, and they got infected afterwards. Mind you, I was off my face on G&A.

But the forceps... I mean, even the words "mid cavity"...


kitkat1967 Tue 08-Feb-11 12:57:50

I had a forceps delivery after failed ventouse (several goes) as I had pre-eclampsia and was not allowed to push. Don't remember much about the forceps but for the ventouse efforts the doctor had her foot on the bed and was pulling as hard as possible - was a rather comedy moment really.
DD was born with 2 black, and bloodshot eyes, brusing round her face and had to spend 2 days in NICU on baby paracetamol in a covered incubator as they wanted to keep her away from light. Then 10 days in SCUBU as prem.
Not sure if there are any lasting effects from all of this - eyesight def OK but some lack of coordination makes me wonder.....
Wish I'd insisted on c-section when it was mentioned - think it would have been a better outcome for her.

LadyGoneGaga Tue 08-Feb-11 13:03:39

They have to pull like billy-o for a ventouse as well. Doctor had her foot up on the bed as I recall and was properly pulling as hard as she could. I had legs in stirrups and was also pushing as hard as I could. But after a 6 hour second stage (DS had a flexed neck and turned sideways) I honestly didn't care. DS had a small lump/graze on his head which went completely within a week and apart from an episiotomy (which healed well) I was in good shape.

I was definitely glad they did ventouse rather than C Section.

bebejones Tue 08-Feb-11 13:07:53

I had a low forceps delivery to help get DD out who was a bit stuck & distressed. Had only been pushing 20mins but she was tachycardic & needed to be delivered. She was back to back & they didn't realise hmm so she had some marks on her face over her eye but they faded really quickly. I had an episiotomy & stitches (had an epidural so didn't feel a thing until about 11 hours later at 3am when it wore off) but was fine & healed relatively quickly. Couldn't see any of it at all, but given it was low forceps I shouldn't think there was much force hmm DD just needed to be maneuvered!

DrNortherner Tue 08-Feb-11 13:13:43

I had Wrigleys forceps with DS after a failed ventouse as he was posterior. DS had a mishaped head and lots of bruising. I had a full episiotomy and internal and external stitches and it took me a good 6 months to heal down there. I could not stand up for very long at all in the early days as it felt my whole undercarriage was just going to collapse.

Am not sure it looks like it should but dh soesn't seem to care!

I had a forceps delivery - I didn't see what was actually going on down there as was off the planet on Pethidine, but ds had two black eyes, a cut on his hand which subsequently got infected (he came out like Superman), and a cut above his right eyebrow; he still has a scar now aged 2.5.

I was battered and bruised and could hardly walk for 3 days after and had infected stitches. Lovely.

I'm aware that some forceps deliveries are fine, and mine was probably one of the more problematic ones, but I was given a choice of either a caesarean or forceps at the time; wish to God I'd gone for the caesarean.

RIZZ0 Tue 08-Feb-11 13:19:06

I had forceps. DH said he had to try not to cry out at the force they were using.

Took two operations over the following year to return me to anything like normal. The result was ok but left me unable to have another vaginal birth so had to have a C/S with second.

I think they are barbaric.

Margles Tue 08-Feb-11 13:21:13

I had Keilland's forceps - I don't remember much pulling and tugging and didn't have a episiotomy. DD's head was bruised but soon cleared up.

Hmm, perhaps I was lucky or perhaps she would have been born face up if they hadn't been too impatient to get me out of the delivery suite concerned about foetal distress.

I had foceps with DS1 just the ones to lift him out, not the high ones.
I'd had an epidural (after 18hours in labour) so didn't feel anything had stitches after and it was very bruised and sore, couldn't sit down at all on day 4 which didn't halp with breastfeeding.
DS was ok from the forceps, slight mark on his face but they had tried ventouse before the forceps which didn't work. Not a good sound to hear the popping off of the ventouse cup! Thought they'd pulled his head off.

Was watching last night and was shocked at the force used to pull the baby out, glad I had no idea at the time, DH however said last night that he found it very traumtic seeing it happen to me.

Had DS2 last June, much shorter labour this time (about 4hours) so no time for epidural. DS2 getting distressed as Im pushing due it turns out to having the cord round his neck.
Midwifes and doctors were telling me they needed to get him out asap and they would need forceps, however having had them last time there was no way on earth I was letting them at me with no pain relief other than G&A and a little local jab! That was all I needed to get him out on my own.
I ended up needing an episiotomy but I feel i recovered far quicker this time round due to not having forceps.

No more babies for me!

NotWoozy Tue 08-Feb-11 13:35:41

From what I have read over the years about forceps, they are not the Devil's Work per se, but the person holding them needs to be very very proficient in using them. This applies particularly in the more difficult ones (Kiellands). Many will say that modern obstetricians no longer have the necessary skills to use these instruments, which explains the terrible injuries to both mother and baby which can occur (Erb's Palsy, retinal detachment etc for baby, incontinence, tearing, rectoceles, PTSD, fear of getting pregnant again for mother). Foot on end of bed for traction when pulling is a definite no no, but I can't remember where I read that.
I personally will never ever allow them near me. They can decide on a c section at 5cms rather than those things at 10cms.

I had forceps after failed ventouse and episiotomy.
It took 2 people to deliver force ds. The nurse had to call the obstetrician to pull him out after she failed.
I almost had a emcs

Dh was more traumatised

I had forceps when I had DS, they gave me spinal block before the started.

They cut me pretty much up to my cervix so they could get a hold of DS. As mentioned on other threads, there were 2 male nurses, one either side of me their arms hooked under mine, a nurse either side of me pressing onto my pelvis to try and open me up.

When the consultant pulled, I shot down the bed, poor DH was v traumatised. He kept reliving the blood pouring off the end of the bed onto the towels below. It took many attempts to get him out. My MW (friend too), was crying.

When DS was born he was extremely bruised and swollen, he had a 2" cut down his cheek (you can still see the scar). He was resuscited in the operating theatre.

The consultant said there was a possibility that neither DS or I would of made it.

It was a horrid birth, but am thankful we were both ok. It took me a long time to recover, had a lot of damage to my bladder which has taken a lot of repair.

My DH won't talk about it now. He said he felt so helpless and thought we were going to die sad


freshmint Tue 08-Feb-11 13:48:05

teeny weeny sri lankan registrar put her foot on the bar of the bed to steady herself and then hauled dd1 out

freshmint Tue 08-Feb-11 13:48:55

ps was keilands forceps
my fanjo looks like a patchwork quilt. made by a 7 year old for a school project...

sleeplessinderbyshire Tue 08-Feb-11 13:55:22

I had forceps after nearly 2 hrs of pushing with DD. small baby right wy round, i thought I was just crap at pushing but actually had a very short umbilical cord which snapped as she was pulled out because I had a retained placenta which I then had to have removed in theatre. Without forceps I think she'd still be stuck up there. Yet I was a bit sore and she had a small bruise on her head but way better than not being allowed to drive for weeks and having a scar from caesarian IMHO

yes as bad as it looks. shut my eyes through most of it, pretty messed up afterwards...

it worked though, so very glad about that.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Tue 08-Feb-11 13:58:04

DS1 was a forceps delivery. I saw nothing of itgrin but ds1 (8) still has a scar on his face from the forceps, and my pelvic floor and vaginal walls are a mess!

DS1 came out with his face all swollen and soresad Couldn't even see the cut on the sode of his face for days because he was so swollen.

I couldn't sit down comfortably for the first week or so and suffered pain for months. I've since had one op to fix saggy pelvic floor and I have a large rectocele which will need surgery at some point.

I cannot believe they continue to use forceps when so many women suffer vaginal injuriessad

MissJanuary Tue 08-Feb-11 14:00:39

My son had a forceps delivery, after his head was stuck against my pelvic bone. Son was born with badly bruised face and we noticed after arriving home from the hospital his neck was twisted round to the right, massive haematoid as well, he had weekly physio to right the twist for 3 months as a tiny baby, and around 8 months we visited an osteopath who after examaning him said his collar bone had been fractured as well due to the forced of the delivery.
I suffered a 3 degree tear into the fleshy bum muscle (thankfully rip was away from the anus hole so no damage there - sorry if TMI)I was black and blue from bruising and found it a horrific experience. Never again, they should be banned.

Checkmate Tue 08-Feb-11 14:00:41

dd1 born by forceps. They thought she was back to back and that's why I couldn't do it. (Actually, had been indued and had epidural). But once they started with the forceps they realised she wasn't back to back (the reason I'd agree to the forceps) but switched to a different set to pull her out anyway hmm

damage to her; minimal. Slight bruises on either cheekbone.

Damage to me; immense. Worst thing a HUGE perineal haematoma that came up a few hours later. It was agony and took a long time to go away.

Since then have avoided epidurals like the plague, and managed to avoid another instrument delivery; had 3 lovely natural, easy deliveries instead. (Though, of course, epidurals aren't the only reason for needing an instrument delivery.)

Nippolopolis Tue 08-Feb-11 14:03:41

It's Kielland's forceps (mid-high rotational forceps) that are banned in the US isn't it?

MrsFruitcake Tue 08-Feb-11 14:03:58

DS was a forceps delivery in 2008. He was perfect, not a mark on him. I had an episiotomy which was fine afterwards and healed well with hardly any pain. Better than a tear IMO (I had one of those with DD).

I'd rather not have had a forceps delivery, but DS was in distress and had the cord wrapped round his neck twice. The consultant used the forceps as a last ditch before surgery (he used his hands to try and get him out first). I really didn't want a c-section so for me, it worked out okay.

NorbertDentressangle Tue 08-Feb-11 14:07:31

I was horrified when I watched the forceps delivery on OBEM last night. I had no idea quite how brutal it could be. The sheer physical effort of the Doc. pulling really shocked me (and DP actually).

I was 'threatened' with forceps when in labour with DD ie. if she didn't appear within the next X pushes then they would have to use them. Thankfully I found some inner reserves of strength to push her out.

DuelingFanjo Tue 08-Feb-11 14:08:14

Aquick question for those in the know.

I was told I had a forceps delivery but my notes say Ventouse.

Also thought I had an epidural despite being 10cm dilated but notes say 'spinal'. what's the difference and would they say ventouse even if forceps were used?

MrsPickles Tue 08-Feb-11 14:09:50

I have a massive dent in my head from being born by forceps.... my mum always tells me how tramuatic it was for her, so I said I would NOT have forceps delivery under any circumstances. I ended up with two emergency c-sections both times round but don't think forceps would have got the babies out anyway.

ThisFeelsWeird Tue 08-Feb-11 14:10:13

OH FOR GOD'S SAKE!!!!! These forceps threads really make me cross. There are different types of forceps for different situations. Doctors never do it lightly. I had low forceps, aka Wrigleys, it was no big deal AT ALL. Yes, I had a spinal block, sheer bliss I can tell you. It was over in no time, didn't feel a thing, certainly no foot up on bed nonsense. And my DS came out looking perfect: smooth, unlined, unpuffy, no marks, bruises or cuts, utterly gorgeous. Seriously, I could have put him in for a bonny baby shoot straight away.

I was out the next day. One cut, a few stitches, healed up quicker than friends who had several tears and DH and I were back in the sack with no ill-effects after 5 weeks. So there!

Sorry to go on, but it actually really upsets me to hear people go on about how brutal forceps are and how dangerous etc. Not always! I had a very long labour, pushed for two hours, was utterly knackered and baby had turned back-to-back. He was stuck. Would I have preferred a c-section? No flipping way.

There are Keilands and there are Wrigleys. Please try to remember they are two different things. Keilands look like BBQ tongs. Wrigleys looks like castanets. TOTALLY different. I know some of you have had bad experiences, but it is not always like that. Forceps are a valid medical procedure, when done properly by surgeons who know what they're doing.

And breathe.... smile

Nippolopolis Tue 08-Feb-11 14:10:57

DF - I had an epidural during the labour but they topped me up with a spinal for the the forceps. Perhaps they did that?

DuelingFanjo Tue 08-Feb-11 14:14:58

thanks Nippolopolis. by all accounts my baby came out mostly through my effort but I did have an episiotomy. I remember being in recovery and hearing the midwives reading my notes and saying I had a forceps delivery and one of them saying 'oh no' about the type of forceps they used. However my baby had no bruising and I healed really quickly.

goygoy Tue 08-Feb-11 14:16:46

I also had Kiellands forceps with DD in 2004. I'd had a very long labour, diamorphine which made me very sick, then epidural so I was pretty much out of it and exhausted. DD came out looking like she'd been in a boxing match. I needed a blood transfusion and had 3rd degree tear (to quote my midwife on checking my stitches "ooh love, you look like you've been kicked by a horse" confused) No lasting damage to either me or DD though. In comparison, emergency C-section with DS three years later was far less traumatic.

sarah706 Tue 08-Feb-11 14:17:42

I was a forceps delivery and suffered shoulder dystocia and I have an erb's palsy in my left arm as a result.

I was a very big baby (over 11 pounds) and my mum was overdue and unfortunately it was locum consultant who decided that he would use forceps against the advice of the midwives and other doctors - he also refused to give my mum any pain relief saying it was an unecessary indulgence and women gave birth without pain relief all over the world (what a charmer). When the consultant (who had been away doing training) came back he encouraged my parents to sue the locum as he said that it should never have happened but my parents were young and pretty traumatised by the whole experience so they didn't take it any further.

I'm lucky in that my mum was a nurse and made sure that I got lots of physio and put me in a brace every night for the first year and as a result I have much better functionality in my arm than in a lot of cases but I can't raise my arm above shoulder height, can't drive a manual car (I drive an automatic so not major problem) and various other incoveniences.

When I was pregnant and overdue I got very anxious about the thought of forceps being used but luckily I have had two natural deliveries with no need for intervention. I did find that all the obsetricians I saw were facinated by my Erb's palsy as they don't often see adults with them, although they obviously know about them as a potential risk factor in forceps deliveries.

So forceps can cause serious damage but from what I've read it is generally when they are used inappropriately or by those not properly trained.

Species8472 Tue 08-Feb-11 14:21:39

DD was a Neville Barnes forceps delivery (think that's the one inbetween the low forceps Wrigleys?) and the higher up Keilands.

Felt not a thing as had a spinal anaesthetic. It was a bit of an emergency as DD's heart-rate was dropping very quickly. OB said she would have one go with forceps and if that didn't work it would have been emcs, hence the spinal and it being done in theatre.

DH and I were terrified and I can barely remember a lot of it, was so worried about baby being OK, so at the time I didn't care one way or the other. DD had a couple of little marks each side of her head, but they faded very quickly.

All in all it as quite frightening, but necessary for DD and due to the skill of the OB I didn't need a cs, which I was very glad about, and I have no ill-effects from the forceps (I know this isn't the case for all women though)

SummerRain Tue 08-Feb-11 14:25:37

I was a forceps delivery..... I still have marks on my head from it and suffered from migraines my entire life... youngest I remember having one is age 2 and they were already normal for me at that stage... I'm convinced the forceps caused me damage.

chitchatingagain Tue 08-Feb-11 14:26:35

I had a spinal and forceps. My poor DS looked like he'd been boxing he was so bruised and battered, but TBH a lot of that was from being 'stuck', and not from being pulled out. He has a feint scar on his nose from where he was stuck on my pelvic bone, and a scar on the middle of his forehead, just below and above his hairline which he got from the forceps.

But he was well and truly stuck, and the forceps was a last ditch attempt to get him out before a caesarean. Fortunately I had a spinal because of the chances of having a caesarean - so didn't hurt, even with stitches, but I wasn't completely straight in the stirrups so strained my ligaments in my hips and I walked with a limp from a sore hip for about 6 weeks afterwards.

DuelingFanjo Tue 08-Feb-11 14:33:22

Species8472 , thank you. I had forotten the name mentioned but you've jogged my memory and I think I also had a Neville Barnes forceps delivery.

belcantwait Tue 08-Feb-11 14:36:19

I had a very similar experience to Artichokes
Forceps that the doctor was pulling so hard on (again with foot up on bed) he was pulling me off the bed. Dh was really traumatised by it and says it was if ds's head was going to come off !!! Turns out cord was round neck three times ( often wonder if this caused lack of oxygen and ds's autism???) then had a massive PPH and passed out.
I was traumatised over it for YEARS and had to have counselling over it
Felt as though I had been properly abused. Doctor was a bastard too.... I bled over his feet, sloshing about in it they were. He was quite cross about it actually angry

threestars Tue 08-Feb-11 14:37:00

DS was a failed forceps delivery.
He had caput from long 2nd stage and a bruised and battered head from the attempted forceps delivery. I refused an episiotomy, saying I'd rather tear naturally.
I didn't tear, but then again, baby didn't come out(!) but still glad I refused it. He was in an odd position, they said afterwards, and unlikely to have come out vaginally.

DS cried ALOT as a baby, until I visited a cranial osteopath. I was sure he'd been in agony from the forceps.

girnythecat Tue 08-Feb-11 14:37:31

I am well aware that forceps can be absolutely necessary, my DS may well not be here if it weren't for them. However I found it the most traumatic experience, didn't notice what type of forceps as I was too busy begging all six midwives and two doctors not to let me die ! I wasn't free from pain for at least six months and even now it's a bit like rheumatism- when it's cold outside I still get twinges. Birth trauma is very real and, needless to say, DS is an only child.
I hadn't even realised that the baby could be harmed, although not breathing isn't a great alternative..........

LawrieMarlow Tue 08-Feb-11 14:40:59

My sister was delivered using Keilland's forceps. My mum said there was some specialist in them who happened to be in the hospital for a course so that was quite useful.

I think my sister's birth must have been pretty horrible - my dad got sent away as nothing was happening (he doesn't drive so got the bus) and then it did start happening and he was met at the busstop by my granny telling him they needed to go back. He missed the birth (wasn't there for mine either but in 1975 think that was more normal). Sister born in 1983.

She was in hospital for 10 days afterwards (went completely over my head despite being 7. Would have thought she was in for about 2 days tbh). She came out with one of those rubber ring things.

Lovethesea Tue 08-Feb-11 14:41:00

I had high rotational keillands with DC1. In theatre under spinal thankfully as they were rushing to get her out of her distress and wanted a c-section as a back up if forceps failed.

DD was bruised around the head, swollen and had a slight cut very near her eye. That all healed over the next couple of weeks.

I had extensive tearing beyond the episiotomy and a lot of vaginal tearing that took 90 minutes to stitch up in theatre.

When the catheter came out my bladder did not work. I had no sensation at all and it just emptied without warning. I was recatheterised on and off for months, had uro-gynae input for months, physio for 10 months.

I had a lot of vaginal pain and a very weak pelvic floor muscle, the latter remains weak but the pain ended after 10 months or so.

DC2 was an elcs!

NotWoozy Tue 08-Feb-11 14:43:31

ThisFeelsWeird here are Keilands and there are Wrigleys. Please try to remember they are two different things. Keilands look like BBQ tongs. Wrigleys looks like castanets. TOTALLY different. I know some of you have had bad experiences, but it is not always like that. Forceps are a valid medical procedure, when done properly by surgeons who know what they're doing.

I am glad for you that you had a positive experience with forceps. I find your tone above very patronising - I doubt women who have experienced any type of forceps need to to be told to "please try to remember" what was used on them and the differences between them. Knowing the difference between types of forceps is hardly going to make a huge difference to birth outcomes for a woman, now is it? If it was traumatic and damaging for others, then that also is a valid point that women should feel allowed to make on a thread like this, as should you.
"Foot up on bed nonsense" - what does this mean? Why is it nonsense? That it happened or that it was posted here?
In relation to the bold point above, the issue is that often forceps are being used by people who do NOT know what they are doing. Therein lies the rub.

paddypoopants Tue 08-Feb-11 14:44:46

Ds was born with Neville Barnes forceps. His heart rate fell as he had the cord round his neck a couple of times. I remember it all being a big rush. I had had an epidural half an hour before it all kicked off so it was fine for me and I had no after effects and neither did my ds - just a bruised cheek. I feel grateful that they did it as it meant I avoided a emergency section and they got him out really quickly.
I don't know if I would've felt so positive about the experience if I hadn't had the epidural ( thanks to the senior consultant anaesthetist about to go off shift and the junior midwife not daring to hold him up to check how dilated I was i.e. fully.)

Girnythecat - no, I didn't note the type of forceps either.

And yes, my DS is an only.

Nippolopolis Tue 08-Feb-11 14:48:47

Thisfeelsweird - we are all sharing our experiences, good and bad. You had a good experience, as did several other posters on this thread. Shall the women with bad experiences not bother contributing?

Doyouthinktheysaurus Tue 08-Feb-11 14:54:04

Thisfeelsweird, for alot of women their experiences of foceps are not so positive. Doesn't make what we have to say any less valid though.

NeedCoffee Tue 08-Feb-11 14:55:40

I had one and it was exacly like in OBEM. Doctor tried suction first and pulled so hard that it came off dds head so they moived onto forceps.

ThisFeelsWeird Tue 08-Feb-11 15:03:19

Sorry - I didn't mean to sound patronising. I am probably remembering a thread recently where the OP had not had any experience of forceps, just had read an article about a baby in the US dying after being born that way. Loads of posters piled in to say things along the lines of "Forceps should be banned, they kill babies" or some such crap. It really upset me that so many people who had no knowledge of the procedure weighed in to say what a bad thing it was, based on scaremongering.

Apologies though, I can get a bit carried away. I feel quite sensitive about the issue because for me it wasn't an horrific botch job but so many people when you say you had forceps assume it must have been. Hearing people constantly denigrate the means by which your child was born gets you down.

EMS23 Tue 08-Feb-11 15:10:12

My DD was born by Neville Barnes forceps 13 weeks ago after a prolonged pushing stage. I had a pudendal block and episiotomy. She had a small mark on her head which is still visible.
She was unable to breastfeed from me and would just scream and scream whenever I held her neck. I don't know if that is because of the forceps or not.
I felt sad for a while about my "failure" to deliver her myself and my "failure" to breastfeed but I am beginning to get over all that now.

chitchatingagain Tue 08-Feb-11 15:10:41

Not everyone is denigrating it - I feel that my birth was crap, but the forceps was the best of a lot of bad options. DS has a scar on his forehead, big deal, he's here and alive, and so am I. To me that's a GOOD birth. TBH the head midwife was the worst part of the birthing process (mean cow!!!!). The doctor holding the forceps was a saint to me, he saved us both.

Thisfeelsweird I'm really glad your forceps experience was not as negative as some people's. Part of the joy of Mumsnet for me is that it is a safe space to share good and bad experiences with other Mums (excepting AIBU of course smile. Traumatic births are exactly that - traumatic - and I feel the women who have suffered from them should be able to voice their trauma without being ridiculed or judged by the more fortunate.

Sorry Thisfeelsweird, completely cross-posted with you blush.

MissJanuary Tue 08-Feb-11 15:13:59

8rubberduckies thank you for this very sensible reply to Thisfeelsweird

Lainey1981 Tue 08-Feb-11 15:20:38

Ds was forceps delivery- keillands i think as they needed to rotate him as was brow presentation and therefore stuck (explains the 19 hrs of active labour)
Had had epidural a few hours before but not topped up in a while, also had local anaesthetic but screamed and swore my heart out as felt like my bones were being broken manually. blush as had been fairly quiet up til then. Had to have episiotomy and still tore(2nd degree i think)
Ds came outa bit swollen and with funny shaped head but ok after a couple of days.
I still hvae lots of discomfort etc and am wondering if have permanent damage as can't isolate pelvic floor muscles to do exercises.

Lainey1981 Tue 08-Feb-11 15:21:08

That was 10 weeks ago

I had a forceps delivery with my first - epidural was working fine and was topped up before the procedure. However I remember the insertion of the forceps in vivid detail and it hurt like nothing I have ever experienced. In saying that though, the baby was fine (two faint lines on his head that were gone before we got home from hospital), and physically I healed pretty quickly. Emotionally I was not so good as I kept having nightmares and flashbacks about being in theatre. Couldn't have sex for a year afterwards!

During my second pregnancy (despite being mocked by a consultant who said I couldn't possibly have felt pain under epidural!) I worked through it with kind and patient midwives who promised I could have a spinal if I needed forceps. Despite my experience I understand the need for the procedure and wasn't completely ruling it out.

My second labour was an absolute doddle - I popped out a 10lb 6oz girl (with a rather large head!) within about half an hour of getting to the delivery room, with no pain relief! Found the actual birth to be pretty painless until afterwards when it was discovered I had torn in both directions and needed stitches. The only reason I mention this is that despite the lovely easy birth my recovery was much harder and took a lot longer than with the forceps delivery.

Chitchatagain - please don't 'big deal' the issue of having a scar of DS face, this was one the most traumatic experience of my life.

Of course, the end result was good (we are both alive), but I have struggled with the effects ever since.


Yes, I know it could be A LOT worse (before anyone else says it). sad


LAlady Tue 08-Feb-11 15:45:36

I had failed forceps with my first. It was a long labour and they decided to try this (DS was prosterior). I remember two big burly gentlemen having to hold me as the force was such that I was nearly being pulled off the operating table.

I ended up with an emergency c-section. DS ended up with a bruised head, black eye and sessions at a cranial osteopath. She was certain it was as a result of the forceps that DS needed them.

megansmummy1 Tue 08-Feb-11 15:45:56

I also had keillands in theatre after hours of pushing on gas and air, they rushed me in and gave me an epidural. It was pretty scary at the time but DD and i were fine in the end which is all that matters. I had large epesiotomy and a tear, it took longer to stitch me up than it did to deliver her. To be fair, midwife said they only had one consultant qualified to deliver this way and if he wasn't in then it would be a c section, i do understand people being concerned about junior docs doing this though, it is a very specialised technique, i had him showing 3 others how to do it at the time. I had a tent up so couldn't see anything so OBEM was first time i have seen this and was pretty shocked.

chitchatingagain Tue 08-Feb-11 15:56:34

Northumberlandlass - Hey, I'm not happy about the scar on DS's face either. It's not nothing, and I hate seeing it. As I said, I still view the birth as 'crap', but before I let myself get too upset over it, I remind myself that it could have been worse.

Besides, both my DSs have already built up a nice collection of scars on their heads all on their own, DS1 has had his head glued twice and is not yet 4, and DS2 once, and has only turned 18 months.

PureBloodMuggle Tue 08-Feb-11 16:01:18

Òh dear I thought the forceps delivery wasn't too bad last night!!

It's actually the fist time in 4 and a bit years I've ever watched a birth on TV without crying (watch 10 mins of One Born last night to 'test' myself - I passed).

DS1s birth was pretty naff, but DS2's was something else!! Failed vontouse and then attempted high forceps as he was only just at the instrumental attempt level (wherever that is)

I actually thought I'd imagine the foot on bed bit but after reading this thread I've found out it wasn't my imagination running wild!!

Hurt like something else too (no pain relief - was regretting that choice at that stage!!!) DH says the sight and sounds aren't something that'll leave him in a hurry.

DS2, born in the end by emergency section, had bruised and swollen eyes (as well as a little ring on the top of his head from the vontouse.

He's perfect now though

I would never ever let them go near me with forceps again if I ever find myself in that situation. I would go straight to c section.

The use of forceps during my labour was directly responsible for my Post traumatic stress and Post natal depression. I still feel like crying when I think about it and my daughter is 3.5.

I have flashbacks of it now. It can still make me physically sick.

I have not yet been able to have the courage to have another child despite my age is creeping up on me. I blame the forceps attempt.

redandyellowandpinkandgreen Tue 08-Feb-11 16:21:45

I had a positive experience really. A long labour and then at the end the baby was in distress so they took me to theatre and said they would try forceps but if that failed they would go to a c section. I must admit I hadn't read much about assisted deliveries so I didn't really know what to expect. I just knew I didn't want a C section so was more than happy that they pulled DS out!

There was no foot on the bed - well not that I saw! DS was a little bit bashed but not bruised or anything and I had an epidural that they topped up with something so didn't feel a thing. I was just glad to have him out. The theatre bit was a bit scary, there were so many people. But I didn't have any pain. Was a bit sore afterwards but nothing terrible.

Sorry for those who had bad experiences.

Oscalito Tue 08-Feb-11 16:26:02

I had a forceps delivery in November. It was fine, in that it was fast, well managed and my baby came out with just a red mark on his face. The consultant was totally confident and had clearly done it a million times before, and it was a huge relief after four days of contractions.

But I still can't get over the fact that medical students watched the whole thing happen. It is bad enough when a complete stranger comes into the room, pulls out tongs and sticks them into you. But it's worse somehow that people were sitting at the business end watching it all happen, completely detached from me and seeing it as just a procedure. I wasn't told that they were coming in, so I feel a bit violated, and would think hard about consenting to them again on my birth plan. I don't mind if you get to know them, and are told they are there, but it's as if they hang around like vultures waiting for a forceps delivery to tick that box and stuff the person attached to the procedure. They probably never even looked at my face.

If it happened in any other setting than a labour ward you'd be in therapy for life. But somehow because it's childbirth you're supposed to just be happy with whatever happens, as long as you're baby is OK. And I am of course happy that my baby is OK, but I still cringe whenever I think about it.

I loved that she was so proud of herself last night for delivering naturally - good for her - and her forceps procedure looked gruelling, mine were 'low forceps' so not that deep. I don't want to complain too much, I wasn't left with any long term damage. Anyway, rant over. I just had to vent....

This is a very interesting thread. I've had three unassisted deliveries and I thought I was pretty aware ff all the options and what they meant. Until last night I would have said forceps over c-section any day.
Not any more.

Forceps are a fabulous life saving device. Through history they've saved so many countless thousands BUT what I saw on OBEM was uterly brutal and given a choice I would not subject myself to that kind of possibility.
For the woman concerned and for many on here it's worked out really well. For me - were I making a decision about birth options - I would not now contemplate forceps. I find that interesting in myself because I am fully aware of the risks involved in c-section - but still I would not want that type of treatment.

fishandlilacs - have you contacted the Birth Trauma assocition? They are supposed to be very, very good. link here

The registrar who used forceps to get my DS out was amazing. Had a second degree tear only which felt fine after a couple of weeks, and there were only two small red marks on the baby's temples for 24 hours, even though his head had to be turned.

Mind you, he said he'd done about 2000 of these. You do wonder how the first few might have gone.....

Hermya321 Tue 08-Feb-11 16:30:45

I had a low cavity forceps delivery as DS had his head flexed to the side. I was in labour for over 24 hours and by that point, I was just glad to get it over with. Recovery was by no means a walk in the park and DS was a bit battered. But compared to the people recovering from c-sections I felt I got off lightly.

That being said I have no wish to ever ever repeat the experience and the next time round I will do everything I possibly can to have those things no where near me.

expatinscotland Tue 08-Feb-11 16:30:45

'But I still can't get over the fact that medical students watched the whole thing happen. It is bad enough when a complete stranger comes into the room, pulls out tongs and sticks them into you. But it's worse somehow that people were sitting at the business end watching it all happen, completely detached from me and seeing it as just a procedure. I wasn't told that they were coming in, so I feel a bit violated, and would think hard about consenting to them again on my birth plan. I don't mind if you get to know them, and are told they are there, but it's as if they hang around like vultures waiting for a forceps delivery to tick that box and stuff the person attached to the procedure. They probably never even looked at my face.'


My consultant asked me, using my name and not 'Mum' if 4 students she chose herself could observe.

Whilst we waited for the topped up epi to take effect, she had each introduce him/herself to me and told them, 'She is to be addressed as Mrs Expat. I hear anything else and you leave the room I am only asking once.'

When they came to visit after DD1 was born, they all said she was very strict, but said she was the best teacher they'd had yet, a 'genius' and that obstetric students fought over who'd get to observe her in action.

Even when the midwife went to get her I could hear her outside the door saying, 'Oh, brilliant, Dr X is on!'

expatinscotland Tue 08-Feb-11 16:32:02

But she introduced herself as 'Mrs'. Why do consultants here use Mr or Mrs?

sunnymum44 Tue 08-Feb-11 16:32:49

For DS I had 2 failed ventouse followed by forceps. For DD I had to have a planned c-section.

C-section over forceps any day..... In fact I would do anything in my power not to have a natural birth again...

Fishandlilacs, I couldn't face another delivery for a long time either - you may be able to request a c-section if you had post traumatic stress anyway.

Expat - it's because physicians in olden times were v snobby and wished to distinguish themselves from surgeons. So they reserved 'Dr' for themselves to mark their learbing. Surgeons including ob/gyn still use this convention denoting their consultant status - after all any newly qualified medic can call themselves Dr......grin

expatinscotland Tue 08-Feb-11 16:44:49

Oh, well, that midwife was Canadian, anyhow .

randommummy Tue 08-Feb-11 16:50:47

I had forceps delivery with DS but had a spinal block, to be honest by the time it got to that point I just wanted smeone to save me! OH won't talk about it!!!! No severe bruising on the baby but I was a bit bashed put it mildly. Am saving this weeks One Born EverMinie for a quiet moment hmm

motheroftwoboys Tue 08-Feb-11 16:55:27

DS1 was elective cs (breech) DS2 was back to back and had to have forceps delivery after four days in labour. He was distressed so was just pleased to get him out. DH said it was the scariest thing he had seen. Consultant foot on bed to pull - like other posters had said. Had epidural so didn't hurt at the time but had third degree tears and took a long time to recover. DS2 had chunks out of his head and still has facial scar at 18. HOWEVER, the consultant said that we could have both died so rather glad of the forceps. smile would vote for a CS any day though. It took MUCH less time to recover.

working9while5 Tue 08-Feb-11 17:11:45

I had Kielland's forceps delivery on DS - really scary, everyone freaking in the theatre shouting their disagreement about how they should section etc. DS had low Apgar score from shock and was a very screamy baby, massive black eyes, scars on cheeks. Still has marks on one eye. I had severe issues "down there" - not stitching which was fine, thank God, but bruising in the pelvis/muscular damage from the force of the delivery. Took about 6-8 months to fully recover but most difficult for first three months.

I try not to think about it but it was fairly horrific, I will admit. I didn't realise there were different types of forceps and was quite frightened to read that Kielland's are quite a controversy due to birth injuries etc.

higgle Tue 08-Feb-11 17:30:51

I was born by a high forceps delivery under General anasethetic - I'm not quite sure why. My mother was told when she came round that I looked a terible mess and it would be best not to see me until the next day because it would upset her. As it was 1956 and you did as you were told in those days she just agreed to it and waited to see me for the first time the following day!

ohbabybaby Tue 08-Feb-11 17:31:09

Trouble is, there is no crystal ball to see how things would have gone if you go down a different route. People can have bad experiences/ be damaged by any type of labour.

Prime example: a friend and I were in labour at same time in same hospital. We got to the same point about 2 hours apart, were both told we needed to go into theatre for ECS but that they would try ventouse 1st.

I had ventouse and forceps and they got DC1 out. However I'm not really sure how I have managed to conceive DC2 wink. Think I will have to call baby after the local anaesthetc cream I got from the doctor after 5 months of not being able to have sex, still have to use it after 16 months!

Meanwhile my friend refused the ventouse and had ECS. In the long term she has healed better than me and her baby didnt have squished ears. But they went ahead with the CS despite her screaming she wasn't numb on one side, she felt it, her uterous didn't contract, absolutely hurrendous and traumatic. So yes to forceps over that!

That said I am going to do everything in my power to avoid forceps next time, even [gulp!] if it means not having an epidural.

PS don't want to scare anyone on CSs - friend mentioned above is very much looking forwards to having a nice planned CS when she has DC2 (just with a different anaesthetist!)

banana87 Tue 08-Feb-11 17:35:25

DD was born via forceps. Unfortunately the epidural only half worked so I felt everything. DH said he had his foot resting up and pulling her out. She had a huge mark on her face when she came out, and for the first 6 months had to be held. She still doesnt like things on her head, and I am convinced its down to the birth. As for me, I had severe bruising and stitches and I am still not right (this was 2 years ago!). DD also needed calpol for her first 2 days.

DD was forceps. She hardly had a mark on her, but did scream for a few hours which might have been a headache (I imagine many babies have a bit of a headache first). On the other hand I had an episiotomy which tore further and 3 other tears. I couldn't sit down for 2 months and will be having an ELCS next time to avoid a similar recovery.

PinkElephant73 Tue 08-Feb-11 17:55:05

Ds1 was delivered with Neville barnes forceps in theatre, after 17 hours of labour he had hardly moved down at all .I didn't see or feel anything as had a spinal block. According to dh the dr was covered in blood up to elbows and had her foot on the bed to pull him out.
Ds was very sleepy after birth and had trouble latching on (or even waking up) for the first 3 days.
I was in a lot of pain after And could hardly walk the next day. My stitches did not heal well and could not sit in comfort for weeks. had to have a skin tag burnt off with silver nitrate at 6 week check. Sex was too painful to contemplate for 6 months.
I felt the labour was mismanaged at the time but strangely had never until now really considered that the forceps contributed to my problems in recovery.

Jacksmama Tue 08-Feb-11 18:02:28

Forceps deliveries should be outlawed. I had one, it effectively ended my childbearing career. They should be f*cking illegal. I think a baby is too high for the ventouse to work, they should do a section.
F*ck, I shouldn't even be posting about this - too upsetting. But seriously - I've told everyone - if they say forceps, scream no.

campion Tue 08-Feb-11 18:07:25

I arrived via forceps - 2nd twin, got stuck, my mum haemorrhaging and under GA. I was scratched and bruised and somewhat shocked and had a wry neck. Apparently my mum's first words on seeing me were ' isn't she funny looking' hmm. And she had no stitches! Twin brother paved the way perhaps?

I had to have a rolled up towel next to my head for months to correct my neck but am unable to comment on whether my looks improved!

Was told after DS1 was born that a doc was sitting outside the room with forceps ready to get down to business. Luckily DS1 got his act together just in time.

lovemysleep Tue 08-Feb-11 19:55:43

DD was born with a ventouse delivery - she was spine to spine, and I had been in labour for 48 hours.....

The episiotomy was fine, healed quickly, and DD head was a bit of a funny shape but it went down after 2 days.

I was adamant that they were not going ANYWHERE near me with forceps, and I will be the same with my next. I would rather have the hassle of recovering from a c-section, that a completely ruined, lacerated fanjo, thank-you very much.

lucyspangle Tue 08-Feb-11 20:06:09

I was born by forceps HF rotational-still have the dents in my head forty odd years later- my mum was traumatised for years by her experience. I had a c/s and forceps used to get DS head out- mild bruising.

A friend had an attempted forceps which failed then an emergency c/s ....ouch.

lint Tue 08-Feb-11 20:07:13

I had a kiellands forceps delivery with my first baby and I was so desperate to get the delivery over with after 24 hours in labour I would have done anything to deliver the baby! DH said there was a lot of pulling and tugging but I wasn't aware of it because I looked at my DH through it and he was very supportive. I wasn't aware of any pain either because they gave me good locals. I had a large episiotomy which unfortunately had to be repaired afterwards about 3 months later. The baby had no bruises or marks and I went on to have 2 other babies normally. I would rather have had that instead of a c-section as in retrospet it doesn't seem a big deal.

Woodlands Tue 08-Feb-11 20:10:07

I had a Keilland's forceps delivery last July - DS was back to back and was stuck so after 6 hours of pushing etc they took me to theatre for a trial of forceps. I had had an epidural but it only worked on one side so they gave me a spinal (though it took 23 attempts to get the needle in...). Everything was fine for us, I felt it when they turned DS but no pain. DS didn't have a mark on him and my episiotomy was expertly stitched and I was having sex again at 6 weeks.

Just thought I'd add a happier story of Keilland's forceps!

LittlebearH Tue 08-Feb-11 20:22:47

They broke my coccyx getting DD out with forceps..I couldnt walk for 3 months and can still remember the cracking sound.

Never again...

bumpsnowjustplump Tue 08-Feb-11 20:33:25

DD was born using Forcepts. It was barbaric but saved her life. She was back to back and got stuck, her heart rate fell and didn't come back up and we had to get her out there and then.

She was really badly cut she was hooked through one eye and in her mouth, and bruised but only has one tiny mark now and will be 4 soon....

It was very traumatic for us both but I still went on to have ds 2 years later... and thats another story wink

lilacisinlove Tue 08-Feb-11 20:38:36

DD1 was forceps, I had an epidural due to pre-eclampsia and also my waters had broken well over 24 hours earlier so they were keen to get her out. The obstetrician managed to tear my cervix with the forceps and the mood in the delivery room changed very rapidly. I lost four pints of blood and it was was only the following afternoon, when I finally left the delivery room 18 hours after DD was born, that I noticed the blood all up the wall near the bed.

I guess the fact that the midwife mopped the floor before my husband came in the room to see the baby should have been a bit of a giveaway!

I was incredibly sore for three weeks, but all is fine now.

Forceps for DD2 (BBQ type).

Traumatic for her- superficial facial injuries, and for me- tearing, oedema of the labia.

However, they got her out when she was in difficulty.

TomlinTowers Tue 08-Feb-11 20:59:02

Wow, I must have been fairly lucky, some of these stories are awful. DS1 got stuck half way out because cord was round his neck - I could push out the top of his forehead but no further because the cord wouldn't stretch that far. Consultant just said "forceps please" and that was it - next time his little head appeared, he was grabbed by the temples and pulled out until someone could cut the cord and release him. He did have a red mark either side of his face for a few hours after, and the MW said he had headache (no idea how she knew!). I had episiotomy and healed up pretty quickly.

Dread to think what could have happened if no forceps.

NinkyNonker Tue 08-Feb-11 21:01:14

Mine was absolutely fine. DD was very low, but brow presentation and not going anywhere despite being nearly fully dilated. She was a little distressed so they said they would give me 2 mins on forceps and then straight to EMCS. If she hadn't have been so low (the doc could touch the top of her head with ease!) I would have been more nervous about it, but I was in cloud cuckoo land to be honest.

Whopping epidural, small epistiotomy and 2 tugs later there was our beautiful daughter. AGPAR of 9, healthy as anything. A small red mark on her eyebrow but it was just pressure, it went in a few hours. No side effects for either of us, bar a little pain every now and then still where my epistiotomy was.

I have heard some horror stories since so would always rather avoid but nothing bad to report here.

NinkyNonker Tue 08-Feb-11 21:02:17

Oh, and yes DH reports the surgeon was fully braced for each tug!

CrispyTheCrisp Tue 08-Feb-11 21:04:13

I had a forceps CS hmm. DD1 was stuck so high up as i had placenta praevia, they opened me up and then had to fish her out from afar

Waswondering Tue 08-Feb-11 21:04:45

Neville Barnes forceps (after failed ventouse), followed by PPH and bad tear.

Then got infected stitches .... needed gynae surgery when ds was 8m to rectify some of the internal problems.

As a result dd was born by el cs ...

If I had my time again I wish we could have gone straight to em cs rather than forceps.

But now have 2 beautiful children, and that's the most important part.

EmmaBemma Tue 08-Feb-11 21:11:39

Reading this thread, I'm in awe of all you ladies - you're so brave! My heart goes out to those of you who had traumatic experiences - some of your stories are really frightening.

Beveridge Tue 08-Feb-11 21:15:17

Forceps with DD1, got a spinal block in theatre after 3 hours of pushing so didn't care what they were doing as I finally couldn't feel a thing.

As it was going to be CS if the forceps didn't work, I assume it must have been Keilands they used.

Had hellish bruising afterwards, was walking like John Wayne for weeks. Also had no pelvic floor to speak of for some time, so when I had an upset stomach from the antibiotics I was given, to my utter mortification I found myself having a large accident at the top of the stairs. And DH had to clean it up as it was just beyond me.

Trying to see it as a positive thing just now as currently pg with DC2 and statistically it's unlikely you'll need forceps twice - and also hoping that since a baby AND a set of BBQ tongs came down that particular avenue only 2 years ago, DC2 should come shooting out like something from Monty Python!

HouseOfBamboo Tue 08-Feb-11 21:23:36

God some of these stories sad

WHY is this happening? And just accepted as a normal part of childbirth practice?

It seems that it's entrenched into the national (and female) psyche that you should just grit your teeth and be grateful if you and your baby are alive at the end of it. But maybe if we weren't so stoic then the medical system would have to change for the better?

KenDoddsDadsDog Tue 08-Feb-11 21:30:44

beveridge my indignity was complete when I threw up and therefore involuntarily poohed and weed at the same time, about a week after I gave birth. I really concentrated on my pelvic floor exercises after that! grin

expatinscotland Tue 08-Feb-11 21:30:58

'WHY is this happening? And just accepted as a normal part of childbirth practice?

It seems that it's entrenched into the national (and female) psyche that you should just grit your teeth and be grateful if you and your baby are alive at the end of it. But maybe if we weren't so stoic then the medical system would have to change for the better?'

My opinion?

First of all, because it's women who give birth, so there's very little money devoted it, wards are short-staffed and staff try to keep costs down.

Secondly, it would appear that many women believe 'drug free' vaginal is the ultimate way to give birth. There's a lot of scaremongering about pain relief here.

HouseOfBamboo Tue 08-Feb-11 21:36:43

I'm inclined to agree with you on both counts Expat.

mitochondria Tue 08-Feb-11 21:40:50

My first was a forceps. I think it was due to a combination of stuff, starting with induction, lots of monitoring and interventions, leading to me not being able to push him out. I don't really remember the actual event.
I couldn't sit down properly for at least a fortnight afterwards.
Boy ended up in SCBU with jaundice, I'm sure the massive bruise on his head didn't help.

Second, I had at home. No forceps needed. I don't think this is a coincidence.

HildegardVonBlingen Tue 08-Feb-11 21:41:28

Frightful forceps tale here too. DS was back-to-back and too low for emcs. Ventouse failed twice; I had a massive haemorrhage, then forceps (huge consultant pulling with all his might). I then had my vagina reconstructed and spent the night in the HDU, then a week in hospital (had not planned to go to hospital at all!). I was in excruciating pain (and shock) for weeks. I was also incontinent for a while (I was utterly horrified when I realised that I couldn't feel myself weeing at all when I weed down my leg in the hospital). It stopped me bonding properly with DS (fortunately DH stood in for me) in the first months. Poor, poor DS had scratches and bruises all round his head, and still has a funny shaped head now. But at the time, after 36 hours of back to back labour and no drugs, I just wanted him to come out safely, and I didn't much care how they got him out. It was the aftermath that was far worse than the actual forceps.

DUSTIN Tue 08-Feb-11 21:45:15

I had a VBAC with my 2nd DC which was a forcep delivery. After 21/2 hours of pushing I was taken to theatre and given a spinal block. I am not sure what forceps I had but my baby was high up the birth canal and also had to be turned. I was given an episiotomy but still suffered a 4th degree tear as they said they turned the baby wrong and unfortunately caused the tear.

My baby had neck problems and had to have months of physio. She also had bruising and swelling along her jawline for a week after the birth.

It has been 2 years since my forcep delivery and I still have problems. I am so grateful that my DD is ok now but in hindsight I wish I had had a c- section instead.

WideAwakeMum Tue 08-Feb-11 22:07:25

So sorry to hear all these hard stories.

I was GLAD to have had a forceps delivery, because it went well for me. I was also glad that it was done by a skilled and experienced individual who did brace his leg against the table to be able to pull. I was asked if I would agree to be cut, declined and had a 2nd degree tear which healed quickly and well enough. For me, this was all much better than a c-section.

libbyssister Tue 08-Feb-11 23:01:46

My DS1 was delivered by forceps with no epidural and I used to have flashbacks of the consultant bracing herself against the bed and tugging, tugging, tugging. I felt brutalised. Makes me shudder now and it's nearly 6 years ago. Stitching was grim and took ages to heal. DS1 was bruised over his eye but it faded quickly. I did read somewhere that it could explain why he sometimes gets one red hot ear and the other stay completely normal. Nerve damage or something...

DS2 was lovely water birth at midwife unit to compensate, only to be back in original situation with DS3. I heard someone mention the words forceps and simply said "No way". They helped him out with ventouse instead...

kissingfrogs Tue 08-Feb-11 23:14:07

I was born using forceps. It missed my eye by a millimetre and left a big red mark which eventually faded.
libbysister Whenever I cry I get a big red mark by my eye - the foreceps mark.

solo Tue 08-Feb-11 23:34:35

I had a student watch my forceps delivery, but I was asked first. I didn't mind as I figure they've got to learn on someone, might as well be me.

pookey Wed 09-Feb-11 00:03:10

I was born by forceps and have a little scar on my head. Ds was also born by forceps.

I find it interesting that on the hospital tour before I had ds we were told in great detail of all the risks associated with various forms of pain relief but nothing about the risks associated with forceps.

cat64 Wed 09-Feb-11 00:20:07

Message withdrawn

Opinionatedfreak Wed 09-Feb-11 00:27:47

A Diversion. Expat - thought you delivered in Scotland?

It would be unusual for an Obstetrician here to refer to themselves as 'Mrs'. It is very common down south though.

The background dates back to the days of the barber surgeons who didn't go to medical school so were not entitled to call themselves doctor as they weren't medically qualified.

The surgeons have retained the title and re-assume it once they pass their surgical exams (ie membership of the Royal College of Surgeons). Those of us who have better things to do than chop people up (TIC) retain good old 'doctor' from graduation to retirement.

Obs/Gynae as I referred to above it a bit odd. In England (i've not worked in Wales/ Ireland) most Obstetricians/Gynaecologists will use Miss/Mrs/Ms/Mr whereas in Scotland they tend to continue to use Dr. The exam they pass is MRCOG (Membership of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists) but it is a 'surgical' speciality.

This issue causes lots of confusion (a common myth is that all Consultant grade staff are 'Mr' as I've explained above that isn't true. However no one generally minds if people get it wrong.......

.......except those who have just passed their exams and are determined that EVERYONE should call them 'Mr/Ms Surname'. It is quite funny really as often they will introduce themselves to professional colleagues (often several grades higher/ older) who have introduced themselves by first name to call them by the formal Mr/Ms. When it happens the older/wiser/cynical amongst us just raise an eyebrow and get on with life!

PS: ashamed to admit it but the Obstetrician would need to give me a very good reason as to why Kjellands were preferable to a LSCS. Low cavity forceps (there are various types) wouldn't bother me.

Opinionatedfreak Wed 09-Feb-11 00:29:07

Note: not saying Obstetrician didn't use Mrs just that it was unusual..... were they an (English) locum?

Doesn't sound like it from the conversation though...

CointreauVersial Wed 09-Feb-11 00:30:13

I can't understand how the baby's head doesn't come off! Seriously! I could hardly watch the forceps delivery in OBEM.

expatinscotland Wed 09-Feb-11 00:30:33

I did. It was some English gal who delivered me, though. And a Canadian midwife.

Oh, there was an Irish midwife there, too.

It was like a mini League of Nations in there there .

Anyhow, after 24 hours of labour, she could have told me her name was Jack the Ripper and I'd have told her to have at it.

expatinscotland Wed 09-Feb-11 00:32:00

X-post, sorry!

When I had DD2, same hospital, it appeared to have been taken over by Irish midwives.

The one who delivered her was called Attracta.

I never forgot that!

What a name!

expatinscotland Wed 09-Feb-11 00:33:24

'I can't understand how the baby's head doesn't come off! Seriously! I could hardly watch the forceps delivery in OBEM.'

Oh, the mother is pushing, too!

I couldn't feel it, but the midwife put her hand on my bump and would feel the contraction and tell me to push and believe you me, I wanted her OUT so I pushed hard as I could.

lalamom Wed 09-Feb-11 01:02:05

They do not use them in the US- they are horrified by them and think them unsafe and damaging- my ob said " just think if you were in the UK they might be doing that medieval forceps stuff on you. Why do they still do that?"

I had a c section thank goodness and I just hope I can stay here long enough to have my second( automatic c section).

I think it is for cost reasons that they avoid c sections in the UK. But sadly there are I think more cases of cerebral palsy and other birth related defects in the UK than a place like the US where they are all to quick to do a c section.

To be honest I know which I prefer. Whatever is lowest risk to the baby.

Oumasrusks Wed 09-Feb-11 07:32:05

I had a forceps delivery with DD1 and it was utter hell. The registrar had her feet on the bed and was pulling on the forceps to get DD out. Over 4 years later things are still not right down there and I wish I'd never consented to a forceps delivery and had gone straight for a CS (it was a trial by forceps in theatre as they weren't sure they'd get DD out without a CS). After the damage done to me, I seriously think forceps should only be used if a CS cannot be done.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Wed 09-Feb-11 07:37:42

What Oumarusks saidsmile

I'm 8 years on from forceps delivery and suffer everyday from the effects of the forceps as I now have a large rectocele.

I would never have consented if I had known what the effects could be. I was in theatre, prepped for a cs if the forceps hadn't worked, I so wish I had just had the c-section.

I am aware of what the recovery is like, I have since had 2 abdominal ops with recovery much like c-section. I'd still go for a cs over forceps.

HildegardVonBlingen Wed 09-Feb-11 07:49:34

cat64: too right!

HouseOfBamboo Wed 09-Feb-11 08:52:59

It's interesting (and significant) if they don't use forceps in the USA, and are much quicker to go to CS if problems are looming.

Possibly related to the fact that people there are much more likely to sue for 'damage'? There have been a fair few sad details of damage on this thread alone.

And yes, obviously CS carries risks too. But the Americans seem to be of the opinion that it's a smaller risk than some of the more barbaric interventions which women and babies suffer here.

expatinscotland Wed 09-Feb-11 09:08:14

This isn't the US. They may not use forceps, but in hospitals rather than birthing centres, they try to bully you into have an epidural and you see most women giving birth on that their backs with their legs in stirrups.

Many hospitals there have a 25% CS rate. VBAC nearly unheard of now.

Land of lawsuit.

Oh, and there's that small matter of health insurance. As in, you have a CS and hospital charges your insurance more for that than for a vaginal delivery.

You don't have health insurance and, well, it depends on that state you live and your income but you could find yourself in tens of thousands of dollars in debt.

My uncle had a triple bypass there in 2009. Pretty routine stuff. He has excellent insurance.

His 'share'/co-pay for all the care he needed: $20,000.

Hardly a role model of healthcare.

eastegg Wed 09-Feb-11 09:09:43

Yes, DS was born with forceps. They tried ventouse first but that didn't work. They did it in theatre with a spinal block as reading between the lines I think they thought a CS was likely, and that in any event in was going to be tough going. Thank god for the spinal block! I was actually able to enjoy the birth. Didn't really see the forceps themselves, I was concentrating on pushing (yes, you do still have to push like crazy). I did get a third degree tear though. I remember being gutted when the midwife explained the tear to me afterwards. I don't know whether it was completely down to the forceps, but I do know tearing is much more likely, and likely to be worse, with forceps.

DS had a cut on his head which caused him grief for a few hours but that was actually from the ventouse. Didn't seem to be affected by the forceps. Don't know what type they were.

The bottom line is that as bad as it looks, it is still considered preferable to a CS, although I think that's debatable.

I was really pleased to see that woman on OBEM being proud of herself for having a natural birth with forceps. I hate it when people talk about forceps deliveries as if they've been a total disaster because the woman needed 'help'.

slug Wed 09-Feb-11 09:11:00

The USA also has twice the maternal mortality rate of the UK.

HouseOfBamboo Wed 09-Feb-11 09:18:58

Expat - Obviously the insurance-based financial model of healthcare in the US sucks, my point was more that in the 'land of lawsuit' they will go down the less risky road, non? But yes, can understand that this may also be biased by the fact they charge more to do CS's.

btw I gave birth in a UK hospital on my back, strapped to monitors. I think stirrups may have been involved when I had the episiotomy and ventouse, but tbh I can't remember.

And nobody would have had to bully me into an epidural, I would have killed for one once all the chopping about started, but I had been talked out of one earlier as I was 'doing so well'. hmm

notyummy Wed 09-Feb-11 09:26:12

I am not sure statistically that it is less risky tbh. I think risk of injury may be higher with forceps, but fatality is actually slightly higher. I am sure I have seen figures reflecting that somewhere, but would need to find them.

HouseOfBamboo Wed 09-Feb-11 09:35:58

slug - isn't that more to do with the fact that many women just don't have proper access to healthcare, full stop?

I'm not saying the US healthcare system is better (it certainly isn't), my point was whether they are quicker to go to CS because they are less likely to get sued, and why that is?

expatinscotland Wed 09-Feb-11 09:41:07

'btw I gave birth in a UK hospital on my back, strapped to monitors. I think stirrups may have been involved when I had the episiotomy and ventouse, but tbh I can't remember.'

I did, too, House. I'm from the US. Lived there for 31 years. I have a bankrupcy from getting injured with no insurance. And that was fortunate, because now, unless you are seriously on the bones of your arse, you can't go bankrupt for medical debt.

Nice! What a great, equal, fair system!

I would never want to give birth in teh US because it is, unless you go down the birth centre route (which your insurance might not cover), largely a highly medicalised affair always regardless of whether you need it or not.

If you give birth age of 35, regardless of anything, you're considered 'high-risk' and have even more medically invasive tests.

Yes, I had a forceps delivery. Yes, I had a ventouse delivery.

I loved my epidurals.

I still think there's about nothing to good to model from a place where the CS rate is 25% and where people can easily wind up losing their home and bankrupt (possibly still having to pay tens of thousands of dollars) over a relatively routine occurrence like cancer or a car accident, where you can work all the hours God sends and be unable to afford health insurance for yourself or your children.

In fact, I find it a deplorable system all around.

Hence, why I no longer live there.

expatinscotland Wed 09-Feb-11 09:43:44

'I'm not saying the US healthcare system is better (it certainly isn't), my point was whether they are quicker to go to CS because they are less likely to get sued, and why that is?'

It's a whole set of reasons.

Many hospitals have protocol about how long a woman can be in labour, for example.

I kid you not.

notyummy Wed 09-Feb-11 09:53:19

Doh! I meant to say that statistically injury may be higher but fatality lower than CS.

Bumpsadaisie Wed 09-Feb-11 10:08:34

I had forceps with DD - I was induced on her due date because her amniotic fluid had become very sparse (not sure where it went!)

I had the drip and an epidural - my labour was recorded as 37 hours. Was pushing for 3 plus hours, and was "clinically" exhausted (ie shaking and getting very out of it) -consultant thought it was going to be a cx, but my midwife told her to give us another 30 mins and we would do it. So I found a new lease of life, pushed my head off - had episiotomy and two pulls with the forceps. I don't really know how "yanky" it was, but DH has seen OBEM and says that in our case it was much less full on - the registrar just used them with the last 2 contractions to add a bit of traction and help me out a bit. On OBEM she had only been pushing 30 mins and perhaps the baby was still very far up and so it was more full on.

DD did have a red forceps mark and was a bit puffy, but this had gone within 12 hours. She fed straightaway and bf-ing was a dream. She didnt seem to be in pain from the forceps or anything.

My episiotomy was fine - was sore to sit down for a few days after, but didn't seem any different to my NCT friends who had had natural tears etc.

So I guess the conclusion is that with forceps there is actually a massive range of experiences. Some people have a very full on experience and very painful episiotomies. For others its not that big a deal. I guess a lot depends on the baby's position and exactly why it is that forceps are being used. If the baby is stuck, that is a different scenario to where the baby is just there ready to come out but the poor mum has been labouring for days and is just too exhausted to carry on without a bit of help.

slug Wed 09-Feb-11 10:16:43

HouseofBamboo CS carry a higher risk of maternal death than forceps deliveries.

DollyDiamond Wed 09-Feb-11 10:34:02

I think Bumpsa is right - range of experiences and probably depends on the user's expertise/preference?

My ds was born by forceps, used by a consultant who was obviously an expert, so despite him being 4.7kg (my son, not the dr!), he barely had a mark. The cons did think he had fractured his shoulder during the delivery, but it turned out he just has clicky joints. My dd was delivered by a registrar by Ventouse at a different hospital, and again shoulder/arm issues (stretched nerve, so she had a few sessions of physio), but completely fine within weeks.

I think that these "instruments" are used when they think it is the safest way to get your baby out - I'd have them any day over a labour then CS!!

HouseOfBamboo Wed 09-Feb-11 10:52:02

Yes it does seem as though there is a huge range of situations in which they are used, and for some people any resultant problems are relatively minor.

But there are also lots of 'shitty end of the stick' experiences where people would have benefited from having a CS in the first place.

showmewine Wed 09-Feb-11 11:32:58

I had a forceps delivery as i didn't get to the pushing stage. DS was back to back and had the cord wrapped around his neck twice. I had my DH and a midwife holding my arms back, legs in stirrups as the baby was tugged out of me. My arms were covered in black bruises afterwards. My bladder was in a right state and i lost control over my bladder for weeks. My bum felt like it had been run over by a train

What scares me now looking back is that i don't remember consenting to forceps? I was so off my face on gas and air and morphine that i probably just nodded 'whatever'. It wasn't a happy positive experience and i haven't had another baby yet....the term 'instrumental delivery' fills me with fear but after reading these threads i won't be watching OBEM this week!!!

showmewine Wed 09-Feb-11 11:36:02

and i am a bit obsessed with the idea of giving birth 'naturally' coz if i don't go on to have another baby i will never know what it is really like!!!

solo Wed 09-Feb-11 12:35:29

I had my second baby 'naturally' showmewine. I think I was less afraid of birthing my second baby. I never got the urge to push with my first, I was told I was ready to push by the MW. I hope you get what you want ~ whatever that is in the future...

altinkum Wed 09-Feb-11 12:35:41

Ds1 I had a forceps delivery (after being medically induced) as well as a episomity with no pain relief, horrific and barbaric (dh passed out, MIL screamed and spewed everywhere, and I passed out with the pain) resulted in a 2nd degree tear.

Ds2, "natural" labour, specifically asked if intervention was needed I was not to know. ended up having a high forceps emergency delivery (was no time for c-section) given spinal, which resulted in a 4th degree tear and many repair operations, which are still on going, 19 months later.

Ive got a appointment with a gynecologist in march to ask for a c-section, otherwise no babies for me again, even tho I want to add to my family.

forceps saved my babies lives, which I will be eternally grateful for, but the affects off them still and will haunt me forever.

emita Wed 09-Feb-11 12:42:48

I had failed ventouse, failed epidural, successful second epidural and forceps (the nasty big 'salad servers') with DS - he had a huge blood blister on his head from ventouse (NEVER have a ventouse if you can help it - the injury rate is pretty high) and scarring from the forceps. Unsurprisingly he was in distress during delivery; had colic for 3 months and couldn't bf! Oh, and he was born to a bolt of lightning and clap of thunder!!

I on the other hand had an episiotomy which took 9 months to get over and endomitritis (sp?) - infection of the womb which resulted in multiple A&E trips, lots of antibiotics and 'internals'. If I could have had a CS I would have done.

DD - induced but then very fast (3 hours) natural delivery - born in sac. Oddly I was more traumatised about this birth and could now never willingly have a third but the recovery was brilliant.

marge2 Wed 09-Feb-11 13:14:00

I had forceps with DS1. Yup doc had to pull like crazy - lifted me off the bed. I was terribly bruised - literally had trouble sitting for a few weeks. Only one stitch though. DS didn't seem particularly bruised or sore.

A friend of mine had her DS1 with forceps. He's about 14 now. She didn't go into the details of her fanjo but I assume her DS had a bad time of it as the poor thing's eye was mishapen for years as he was growing up and he has physical scars on his head from his birth.

thenewMrscullen Wed 09-Feb-11 13:27:21

i am truly shocked by how many people are saying they would opt for cs over forceps. CS can be dangerous too and are fraught with complications my CS 4 years ago left me being rushed back into theater with only a 30% chance of living so am very lucky to be here but still have many problems. CS is most definitely not always the way to go, i have read as many horror story's about CS as i have about forceps

moralminority Wed 09-Feb-11 13:38:08

I had a cs with DS as he was breech and turning didn't work, even under spinal block in theatre. With DD I had forceps as she was stuck. I had always been terrified of childbirth from being a child and reflecting on this its because I was scared of being cut or tearing. At the time though the registrar could have done what he wanted to get her out safely. Its not like I had so many more appealing options!

DD didn't have a mark on her. It took the registrar longer to put me together after the 'natural' birth than it did after the section. He said my insides were shredded. I have healed well, the bruising was worse than the stitches. That said if I knew then what I know now I would have definitely had a section. A good section beats a bad birth IMO!

SingleHappyMummy Wed 09-Feb-11 13:52:25

My DS was born using forceps. I'd laboured for 5 hours on just gas and air and got to 8cm, then had an epidural which was beautiful after all that pain. This slowed my contractions down though and it took another 4 hours to get to 10cm. Then after pushing for an hour DS wasn't appearing. I was prepped for a CS with a spinal and wheeled to theatre. They were going to try forceps first and if that didn't work then go for the CS. Thankfully the forceps got my DS out, with an episiotomy for me and a couple of red marks on his face. The marks on his face faded the next day but my stitches took about 3 weeks to heal properly after getting infected (huge ouch!). DS was 9lb2oz and I'm quite small framed so that's probably why he got stuck.

Although it was on my birth plan that no-way ever did I want forceps (after reading horror stories on MN) I'm actually very glad that they did try them before going for a CS, which would have been a much longer recovery. My fanjo has healed and is I think ok now. And DS is gorgeous and absolutely no side effects from his birth. If I was young enough (now 43) I'd have them again if it was necessary to get the baby out.

Jacksmama Wed 09-Feb-11 15:48:01

lalamom Wed 09-Feb-11 01:02:05
They do not use them in the US- they are horrified by them and think them unsafe and damaging- my ob said " just think if you were in the UK they might be doing that medieval forceps stuff on you. Why do they still do that?"

They do use forceps in the US. Unless the state of Michigan was recently annexed by Canada.
I'd shared the details of DS's gruesome forceps delivery with my friend, who was due four months after me. Sadly, she forgot to tell her husband to insist on no forceps if she was too out of it to speak for herself. Guess what was used on her . Baby was fine, she tore terribly.

TippexTheCat Wed 09-Feb-11 16:56:54

I had an epidural, and then a forceps and ventouse delivery. My son's head was a bit squished, and they told me he would have a headache. His heartbeat dropped during labour so I think they were trying to get him out asap. He took a while to start breathing when he was first born.

TippexTheCat Wed 09-Feb-11 16:58:07

Forgot to say, I had 6 stitches, which meant that I was in agony for 2 weeks plus.

pommedeterre Wed 09-Feb-11 17:01:02

DD was born using failed ventouse and forceps. I was cut. DH said the doctor (big well built guy) was really using all his muscle to get her out. DD's head was cut from ventouse but it was superficial and healed well. My bits healed very well (after 4 months slight struggle to find scar) and I don't seem much less, ahem, 'tight' than before during horizontal dancing activities.
I would choose this over cs ANY day of the week but then I have a medical condition which makes cs a very dangerous thing indeed.
I knew my birth would be difficult, medical and a bit harrowing and it was. Hey ho. DD's only 10 months and I'm totally ready to do it again. Means to an end.
I have been told that forcep use is a very skilled activity which is why it is now recommended that ventouse is used first.
I was born using forceps too - must be a genetic thing

prettybird Wed 09-Feb-11 17:28:13

Just to add to the positive stories re forceps: ds was born using mid-cavity forceps (not sure what type) - he was stuch mid-cavity and turned to the side. I have no recollection of any desparate force being used (but then, I was exhausted).

I'd had a puddendal block which worked (I was tild it was a bit hit or miss as to whether it would work but I did not want an epidural - quite apart from the time it would have taken to sort one out) so was in no pain.

In fact, dh, who was openly squeamish about the whole thing in advance was quite happy to walk across the blood stained floor to chnge his trainers (or something equally banal) and watch as they stitched me up (had had an episiotomy but still tore). He said it looked like a butcher's shop - but it didn't bother him 'cos I was obvioulsy in no discomfort.

Ds only had s light cut/mark on his forehead.

I was told that for a subsequent birth I would probably have no problems - but unfortuantely that never came to pass

With hindsight, the stupid midwife I got after a shift change had been getting me to push during transsition, as I never actually had the urge to push, so no wonder I ended up exhausted. I was semi aware that I was actually snoring during contractions shock

Vanillacandle Wed 09-Feb-11 17:32:03

I had forceps delivery with first baby as she turned round. I had already had an epidural so it didn't hurt (at the time) but the doctor spent 45 minutes sewing me up afterwards...confused

Also, because DD was turning, the forceps didn't fit properly round her head, and ended up sort of diagonally. One of her facial nerves that runs along the jaw was pinched so she had no control over one side of her mouth and I couldn't bf as she couldn't latch on.

I used to get very upset when people watched me bottle feeding with that look on their faces that suggested they thought I was the lowest form of scum for not bf my baby. Please, everyone reading this, if you see someone bottle feeding, don't assume they can't be bothered to bf, it could be that there are other reasons they genuinely can't do it.

BTW, DD's nerve repaired itself and we were signed off by the paeds when she was 6 months old. She's now a beautiful teenager...

Bideyin Wed 09-Feb-11 19:45:41

I had forceps with Ds1. No pain relief, I was horrifically torn and my son still has a scar on his face (he's now 17). Honestly it was one of the worst experiences of my life, give me the emergency CS with DS2 any day!

lalamom Wed 09-Feb-11 19:46:33


I agree it is messed up that you must have health insurance here and it needs reforming but I have to say that i got excellent treatment and care and felt very relieved that they would do a c section if it was needed. They put no pressure on me to have an epidural- i asked at about 5 cm. They let me labour for 26 hours before they offered a c section.

My point is that in the UK they seem a lot more reluctant to offer it which is also wrong if it will prevent the kind of damage that you hear I suspect it comes down to money in the UK too.

The point is that whilst there are risks involved in a c section sometimes i is the best course of action.

I have heard only horror stories from friends who have given birth in London hospitals so dread having to have a baby there.

I had the most peaceful and caring experience here in the states.....but if I had not been insured yes it would have cost $40 000 for my 4 days of care.

But the point is women in the UK are not always given that choice to have a c section soon enough when things get difficult and I think that is wrong.

SilveryMoon Wed 09-Feb-11 19:48:00

I haven't read the whole thread, but my ds1 was forcep delivered.
The doc pulled so hard that he moved me (all 16 stone of me) down the bed!!

expatinscotland Wed 09-Feb-11 19:51:44

'but I have to say that i got excellent treatment and care and felt very relieved that they would do a c section if it was needed'

Of course they did! You have insurance.

For $10,000/day you'd better believe I'd expect a peaceful and caring experience.

This isn't the US. Thank fuck.

HouseOfBamboo Wed 09-Feb-11 20:08:47

Expat - I don't think anyone is disagreeing with you about the fallacies and morality of the US insurance-based healthcare system.

The question is whether here, where the financial boot is on the other foot, as it were, the best decisions are always made on behalf of women in labour. Are decisions sometimes made on the basis of cost rather than medical need, to the detriment of mother and baby?

I don't know, as I don't work in the system. But it's a valid question to ask, surely?

expatinscotland Wed 09-Feb-11 20:16:23

'The question is whether here, where the financial boot is on the other foot, as it were, the best decisions are always made on behalf of women in labour. Are decisions sometimes made on the basis of cost rather than medical need, to the detriment of mother and baby?'

Well, of course there is! I already wrote that farther down in the thread when I wrote that it is like this because it is women who give birth.

But this is not a thread comparing the UK to the US however much some posters try to make it so.

It was started about women's experiences in the UK

lalamom Wed 09-Feb-11 20:23:41

come on pedantinscotland

threads are open for people to express themselves- the point is that the question should be asked why there is a reluctance in UK NHS hospitals to go to the c section option rather than other options that can cause lasting damage and suffering to forceps can and does?

I am relieved to be in the US- after UK midwives scaremongered me about how medicalised it would be- I had a great experiencee and am grateful that I am insured but my friends in the UK have not said the same thing- some were so traumatised they have chosen to not have a second child.

My experience here makes me reflect upon the UK system and stories on here just make me eager to have a second child here rather than in the UK.

expatinscotland Wed 09-Feb-11 20:26:44

'the point is that the question should be asked why there is a reluctance in UK NHS hospitals to go to the c section option rather than other options that can cause lasting damage and suffering to forceps can and does?'

there's no question, though. it's a no-brainer, self-evident, strikingly obvious.

of course it does!

and of course, it is cost-driven.

i'm very glad you had good insurance.

thirtysomething Wed 09-Feb-11 20:29:10

Well having had a forceps delivery in the UK and an instrumental birth in another country all I can say is I was not impressed with forceps or the hospital - the whole experience was far gentler outside the UK!

I did have a semi-working epidural but still felt a great deal with the forceps - and DD had huge dents on her head for her first week. She has had constant problems with hearing and ear infections and it has been suggested that part of the problem may have been compression of the ear canal from forceps. No idea if that's a likely explanation though ....

Also it took me 4 years to fully heal from the scars/tears etc.

HouseOfBamboo Wed 09-Feb-11 20:51:27

"there's no question, though. it's a no-brainer, self-evident, strikingly obvious."

There are a lot of people who WOULD question that though Expat, who say that CS should be avoided if at all possible due to it being major surgery and all, ie NOT for cost-related reasons. Or am I misunderstanding your point?

mememe30 Wed 09-Feb-11 21:12:32

My brother is blind in one eye due to forceps. I was lucky enough to give birth without having to make a decision about having them used on me!!!!!

Getthosethingsawayfromme Wed 09-Feb-11 21:38:00

It is worse than it looks. Had totally unnecessary forceps delivery with DD1 (she was in perfect position, I wasn't too tired to push, no other clinical reason - they just wanted to speed things up). Docs didn't even tell me I was going to have forceps. Agony like big white explosion of pain when they shoved the things in. DD1 big bruises and very unsettled and clingy baby for first year. Couldn't walk or sit down properly for weeks. Came out of experience feeling like I had been sexually assaulted. Ban these hellish things.

timtam23 Wed 09-Feb-11 23:24:12

I had the high rotational Kiellands' forceps for DS1 - it was either that or an emergency CS as he was well and truly stuck (3 hours of pushing) - turned out the cord was arond his neck and looped under his arm so he wasn't going to come out on his own - got stuck inside me with his head sideways.

Fortunately the senior consultant obstetrician on duty did my forceps (in theatre under spinal anaesthetic, as would have gone straight to CS if unsuccessful) - he was an older guy who had done loads apparently, was as gentle as he could be under the circumstances and DS came out really quickly once he was turned. There was no wild pulling or anything like that. I had an episiotomy, which wasn't great afterwards, it was very sore at home for a week or two, but it healed. DS was a bit bruised & swollen but not too bad. I think a lot of the swelling was because he had got so stuck, rather than because of the forceps. There was a small bruise on his forehead from the forceps but it faded quickly. He slept for almost 3 days though, and it took until the 3rd day before he would take even a tiny bit of breastmilk. The midwives said he probably had a sore head and needed time to recover.

DS2 was a very quick vaginal delivery with no intervention.

Getthosethingsawayfromme - that sounds horrendous! Did you complain?

I had forceps in the operating theatre as a last ditch before a c-section. I had thought beforehand that I'd rather go for the c-section than the forceps but actually I'm glad I didn't. My recovery was a lot better than a friend of mine who had an emcs at the same time.

4everhopeful Wed 09-Feb-11 23:58:13

DD was born using forceps after a 5 day induction(!) Established labour only really lasted 24hrs as when i finally got 1cm dilated on day 4 they broke my waters and gave me an epidural.. 24hrs and 10cms later, I was out of it, but pushed for an hour and not much happened, so they took me to theatre to give assisted delivery, or emcs if still not happening. I had a spinal so felt absolutely nothing, just pulled around the bed and tied into stirrups(!)..

Dont remember being told i was having an episiotomy, but i did, the midwife told me when to push, 2 big pushes and they said her head was out, DH had a look and saw the doc with her foot on the bed tugging away, which shocked him, then one more push and DD was out! She had a red mark down her face over her eye (which went after a couple of days) but i was so relieved she was ok and alive, as id had 4 recurrent miscarriages beforehand and spent my whole pregnancy scared to believe it was real.. So, i didnt care about the stitches, sore fanjo, or marks on DD, as i was just so grateful she was ok.. I didnt see it as a traumatic experience at all and would do it all again, i think my hospital was fantastic.

However im now aware I was fairly lucky in my experience, and im a little freaked out now reading some of your experiences, and of the permanent injuries caused to babies, I do think the skill of the docs and urgency of individual situations has alot to do with it though..

Lette0986 Thu 10-Feb-11 09:01:44

Hi Treadmillmom

Forceps aren't as bad as what it looks, yes it did hurt and yes my doctor was four foot nothing and had to really put some effort in to get DS out. DS has a slight scar over his right eye and was a little bloodshot for a while, but I'd rather that than have something bad happen to him.

In my case, DS was back-to-back and I was in labour for a very long time. I wanted to give birth using a birthing pool, but by day 3 of established labour (and having had contractions for over a week beforehand without me realising!!) we were both knackered so the midwife decided to get him out! I had an epidural in the end (no choice of my own) and eventually the doctor tried ventuose as his heart rate dropped drastically. This didn't work. So the forceps came out. All I could do was close my eyes and push. The room was full of doctors, midwives and paediatricians! And this was my first! Scary!

I had an episiotomy and lost a lot of blood after but the pain and discomfort was worth it. DS was born with a cone-head. My beautiful baby is now 5 weeks old and is thriving.

adcd Thu 10-Feb-11 10:55:22

I had forceps delivery after 3 days of labour and no progress! I was too out of it at the time to really take it all in. I had local anaestetic so couldn't feel much other than baby whooshing out of me!
Had extended episiotomy and spinal block in theatre to be stitched up. Beautiful baby boy had an upside down heart shape on his temples and was perfect. I'm so grateful to the only person (the doctor) who did a good job that day in getting him out safely.

But would avoid forceps again!

vez123 Thu 10-Feb-11 12:05:51

I also had a forceps delivery after an induced labour and failed ventouse. DS's heartrate was really dropping so they had to get him out fast. When they got him out (which happened really quickly) it turned out that he had the cord twice around his neck. He probably would not have been able to come out by himself. I was just grateful that he was born safely, even though I tore quite badly and had to be stitched up in theatre (but healed very well). DS had a few marks which were gone by the next day. His head was beautifully formed smile.

drosophila Thu 10-Feb-11 12:23:15

I had forceps but don't know which type. I think it was the big ones. Sex hurt for about a year and I was in a bad way for weeks after.

I was induced and this led to intervention.

Next two births were very very quick (27 mins for one).

Niecie Thu 10-Feb-11 13:23:18

I had forceps (after a failed ventuous) and they didn't do me any harm other than having to have an episiotomy - that took a few days to heal but got better very quickly after the MW took the stitches out.

Tbh, by the time the forceps became necessary I would have quite happily consented to a fork lift truck going in to drag him out.

DS didn't have any bruises or anything and was completely fine.

The doctor did seem to pull quite hard but I think it was a steady pressure and he waited until a contraction anyway so DS was being pushed out as well as pulled. He certainly wasn't bracing his feet against the bed.

It sounds like some of you had a horrible, horrible experience and I am so glad that it was a consultant that did mine and not a midwife. He was a lot bigger than the midwifes for a start, so more pulling power, but he clearly knew what he was doing.

I don't agree that they should be banned though as someone suggested. Obviously it worked well for me but it seems from many comments made on this thread that getting prepped for a CS would have taken too long. If things take a turn for the worse suddenly it might be the only option to save the baby. I was immensely grateful not to have to deal with a CS too.

pommedeterre Thu 10-Feb-11 18:21:39

Interesting point Niecie about doctor vs midwife. I had a doctor do mine and was calm and confident throughout (dh in contrast a total wreck!). I don't think however that a midwife doing it would have felt the same tbh.

laluna Thu 10-Feb-11 19:08:58

Midwives do not perform forcep deliveries.

soooooooexcited Thu 10-Feb-11 19:53:20

I watched the forceps delivery with a cushion covering my face, I was so shocked at the size of the actual forceps.

My 2nd baby was born via a planned CS as she was 14 days late and they couldn't induce me due to previous emergency section. She was so comfy in there that she wouldn't come out and had to be delivered using forceps. My Husband swears that the surgeon had her feet on the bed and was pulling with all her might. I could just hear her huffing and puffing ! Literally my poor litle DD was dragged out ! She had a little graze on the side of her head which disappeared within a couple of days. I was fine, no lasting effects and walked out off hospital 2 days later

So you see forceps are not only used the deliver vaginally but also can be used in CS

For me, forceps were as bad as they looked on OBEM. I remember being practically dragged off the bed. DH and the Midwife held my shoulders down to stop me being pulled down and I thought the registrar was going to pull my poor DS2's head off. Thankfully my epidural had just kicked in as forceps were called for (labour was very quick).

DS2 had bad bruising on his head poor little thing. BUT he was born safely and breathing and I recovered after about 2 weeks.

Have to say that my EMCS with DS1 was a walk in the park compared to my 'natural' delivery (nothing sodding natural about forceps).

Crystylline Fri 11-Feb-11 09:27:09

i had a forceps delivery as baby was stuck too far down for cs. had a spinal block and female doctor managed to pull him out in two contractions.

had an episiotomy, which 3 days later is now uncomfortable, but not too difficult.

baby has a few little cuts and bruises, but they are fading and is otherwise v. healthy and happy. he wouldn't even be here if they hadn't used forceps as cord was wrapped round his neck and he was v. stuck.

i'm fine too, sore and been nauseous from the drugs, but generally healthy and let home after 2 days.

v. glad I didn't see this OBEM... but was in labour at the time! smile

the care team were amazing - MW, doctor and all the theatre staff, so maybe that helped!

Niecie Fri 11-Feb-11 13:21:26

laluna - Do midwives not do forceps?! I didn't realise. I just assumed that as the OP said it was a midwife in the programme then they did sometimes. Some other posters didn't say one way or another when recounting their stories so I assumed that they must.

I do think it might make a difference to the outcome whether you have a consultant or not though. I am sure experience counts.

laluna Fri 11-Feb-11 13:30:46

Absolutely, experience counts. A forceps would only be done by a consultant ir registrar (or by a supervised obstetrician in training). Some obs don't even do them - they will do ventouse or section. There are a few midwife ventouse practitioners in the UK but not many.

samarcanda Sat 12-Feb-11 10:17:48

My cousin was brain damaged for life because of forceps... That thing is not gonna go anywhere near my baby, infact I m gonna have an ELCS instead cause I can t cope with the thought of it...
Britain is the only country where forceps are not illegal ... In another thread a lady said that 85% of the court cases against NHS are because of damage from forceps ...
It is a true barbarian practice and it is maintained just to save money on c sections and to speed things up in labour to get you out... A large amount of forceps delivery in not needed.
Women should be more informed about this....

prettybird Sat 12-Feb-11 11:30:20

I for one am extremely grateful that forceps are not banned. I absolutely did not want a section - the increased mortality rate for caesarian sections, which are major abdominal surgery, being one very important reason.

samarcanda Sat 12-Feb-11 18:00:12

Sorry but I don t agree, c sections are minor surgeries these days, if you look at the medical statistics forceps do way more harm than c sections. Infact lawsuits as the lady on the other thread was reporting have a ratio of 85% for forceps damage versus 1% versus c section damage.
These are very significant numbers !!!!

Also France, Germany and Italy where forceps are banned and c sections over used have much better Mother and child birth outcomes than Britain ..another sin that c sections cannot be that bad ! They are just more expensive to perform which is why the nhs policies prefer forceps deliveries...

expatinscotland Sat 12-Feb-11 18:07:30

'c sections are minor surgeries these days'

No, no they are not and any consultant will tell you this.

samarcanda Sat 12-Feb-11 18:29:13

Again, sorry to insist but I am a doctor myself and I classify major abdominal surgery things like a transplant, hysteroctomy, bowel reconstruction etc, NOT a c section. A consultant that calls c section"major abdominal surgery" should be questioned a d challenged. It is still surgery and carries its risks but these days is not a bigger deal than appendix removal .

Niecie Sat 12-Feb-11 18:36:32

Can you reference that 85% statistic to something other than somebody on another thread please?

Having your stomach cut open is never minor surgery and I would have forceps over C section any day unless the C section is absolutely necessary.

I was absolutely terrified of having to go into hospital for DS2 because it had a 33% cs rate. Hardly a cost cutting exercise there! Thankfully I avoided having to go there by having him at home.

expatinscotland Sat 12-Feb-11 18:41:42

You're a doctor. Yes, of course. hmm

Niecie Sat 12-Feb-11 18:45:04

How come a hysterectomy is major abdominal surgery and a CS isn't when the recovery times and advice are very similar?

expatinscotland Sat 12-Feb-11 18:46:42

'How come a hysterectomy is major abdominal surgery and a CS isn't when the recovery times and advice are very similar?'

And a vaginal hysterectomy has an even shorter recovery time than a CS. So does appendix removal via keyhole (as it is performed these days when possible).

A doctor of what? Aromatherapy doesn't count.

samarcanda Sat 12-Feb-11 19:11:09

no point in arguing, no need for un-necessary sarcasm,
it is pretty clear that a cut is not the same magnitude than a transplant or the removal of an organ, but if you want to continue having fun with semantics, you're very welcome.

I am trying to pass on the research that I have done on the risks of forceps delivery BECAUSE i have a very bad case of damage in my family, and BECAUSE my OB consultant (an obstetrician from a major london NHS hospital) who uses BOTH forceps and C sections every day, has admitted that such assisted delivery carries more risks to the baby than a planned c section does (emergency ones are more risky though). He also says that the issue in UK NHS is COST and UNDERSTAFFING, otherwise, like every other civilized country, you would see many more ELCS and much less forceps deliveries.

Again, in other European countries where forceps are banned and there are higher c section rates, outcomes seem to be better than UK

In the end we are all trying to do the best for us and our babies, and this is just my opinion... but i find that sadly the whole field is filled with politics and women are not always well advised.

expatinscotland Sat 12-Feb-11 19:13:43

'it is pretty clear that a cut is not the same magnitude than a transplant or the removal of an organ, but if you want to continue having fun with semantics, you're very welcome.'

No one ever said it was. But it is not minor surgery.

My father had an organ removed, his prostate. He went home the same day.

Never heard of that happening with a CS.

prettybird Sat 12-Feb-11 19:50:55

I will admit I am not a docotr. However my father is one (although he was a radiologist not a surgeon, but he did head up the deaprtment at a major children's and maternity hospital), and my best friend and and her dh are both GPs and they are all vehemently against the unnecessary rise in the numbers of caesarians and the conseqent risks to both mother and child. They are the ones that told me that it is major abdominal surgery.

I found this quote from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which is is a US federal agency which provides audited infomration on health statistics, using them to promote and protect public health and safety).

"Cesarean delivery involves major abdominal surgery, and is associated with higher rates of surgical complications and maternal rehospitalization, as well as with complications requiring neonatal intensive care unit admission (3–5). In addition to health and safety risks for mothers and newborns, hospital charges for a cesarean delivery are almost double those for a vaginal delivery, imposing significant costs (6)" Full link is here

It is less than a year old, so I don't think in that time, the definition of caesarian sections being major abdominal surgery will have changed hmm

eviscerateyourmemory Sat 12-Feb-11 20:15:00

Id suggest that if samarcanda is a medical doctor that it would be worth her looking up the medical definition of what constitues 'major abdominal surgery'.

samarcanda Sun 13-Feb-11 10:06:03

I don t need to... It is intuitive, the thing I care is to pass the message that elcs are safer than forceps deliveries
Reason why they re banned pretty much everywhere else apart from Britain and few third wolrld countries, where by coincidence the nhs is the most underfunded healthcare system in Europe ?

If you re on a highway and everyone is driving towards you , do you think there s ever gonna be the chance you re gonna stop at some point and think you might be in the wrong lane instead ?

eviscerateyourmemory Sun 13-Feb-11 10:26:32


Niecie Sun 13-Feb-11 12:04:54

Do you not think that the reason forceps have been banned is that people are too ready to sue in countries where they have to pay for their healthcare at source rather than being publically funded. The authories are perhaps more worried about their insurance premiums than whether they cut open somebody's stomach. The ban on the use of forceps might be the result of scared medical practioners, not a widescale problem with forceps themselves.

Can you provide references from research journals to back up your view? As a scientist I am sure you appreciate that 'a woman on another thread' isn't much of an authority when examining the facts.

I am still waiting for some back up for the claim that 85% of all clinical neglience is due to forceps delivery too. I find it hard to believe.

If you have the data to hand it would be more convincing than the way you are presenting your arguments now. If you really want to get forceps banned I am sure you will appreciate this.

HouseOfBamboo Sun 13-Feb-11 16:21:37

"The ban on the use of forceps might be the result of scared medical practioners, not a widescale problem with forceps themselves. "

I'm not sure what you mean that they scared of? If it's of things going wrong then aren't they just as scared of things going wrong with other methods of delivery?

samarcanda Sun 13-Feb-11 19:36:16

like France , Germany, Italy ? that have much better healthcare than UK ?? (i lived in 3 out of 4 of those countries) which is also publicly funded ??.. and no lawsuit structure like in USA..

i'm not gonna pull out any research off the web if that's what you're after, but you might enjoy reading articles like that: Forceps-killed-baby-doctors-using-them.html#ixzz1D rv6UQ9b

from which: <<In fact, studies since the Eighties have reported high rates of damage to mothers and babies through forceps use. Recent research confirmed this poses a higher risk of birth injury than other interventions, including Caesareans.>>

the lady that mentioned the 85% is on this old thread: eps-seem-to-be-used-a-LOT-in-One-Born/AllOnOnePage

you might want to email her and get her to send you signed documentation of her statements... or you might ask the daily mail to direct you to those studies..

personally all those experiences, watching my cousin growing up on a wheelchair, speaking to obstetricians and having had most of my friends recovering in a week after their ELCS with no problems, is enough for me to make my decision and to consider this practice as barbarian for mothers and babies...

i'm now deeply bored of this thread and the atmosphere of sarcasm and antagonism... hope some other women are gonna get some value out of my experience and i would love if it convinces everyone to fight against this very dangerous practice....


expatinscotland Sun 13-Feb-11 19:39:58

Yes, very boring, indeed, sam. Jog on, then.

Ushy Sun 13-Feb-11 20:51:11

You're so right, Sam, the whole driver is finance.

I get really annoyed that caesarean section outcomes are compared with normal birth outcomes. That's absurd! All the elective caesarean group have major complications. The outcomes are associations not causes.

It is like looking at the outcomes for death and illness amongst a group of hospital inpatients and a group of keep fit instructors! You'd say the place to be if you're ill is the gym - hospitals are not good - full of sick people! DOH....

Instrumental deliveries ARE barbaric and should be avoided at all costs.

kensworth Sun 13-Feb-11 20:58:43

I had forceps with ds2 and no tears or stocked!!!!!!!!! Not sure what that says about me. Also had vontous ( no idea how to spell it) with ds1and again nothing black well tunnel must spring to mind !!!!!! Lol what else can I do

kensworth Sun 13-Feb-11 22:47:37

Mean stiches !!!!!!!

prettybird Sun 13-Feb-11 23:01:19

Interesting that when asked to supply evidence, Sam supplies quotes the Daily Mail hmm

As a trained medic, I thought she might have been able to provide more reserach based evidence, such as this. In particular, I like the intorduction

In recent years the Cesarean Section (CS) rate has risen and there has been a gradual decline in instrumental delivery. This trend is seen in many countries, possibly due to concerns over neonatal and maternal safety, medico-legal issues as well as fewer clinicians skilled in forceps use 1 . This may reflect a perception of the practitioner that caesarean section has less morbidity. However this has not been supported by evidence 2 .

It does go on to disucss the need for trained practioners.

I am really sorry that Sam's cousin was brain damaged. I don't now if there was negligence involved or the doctor was not sufficeintly experience - or if the alterantive might have been that he would have died if they had waited to do an emergecny caesarain. Things do go wrong

However, research suggests that the alternative of more caesarians is more dangerous across all births than use of forceps by appropriately trained doctors.

In my case, ventouse couldn't be used because ds was still too high (I was aware enough to ask). I did not want a caesarian. What alternative was there??? (and ironically enough, from what I have since learnt, they wo uld probably have had to to use forceps to get him out even if I had goen for a caesarian as he was mid-cavity hmm)

As an aside re training - I am also glad i was able to offer a "training" opportunity to an SHO, who was observing that day, so she was able to watch a successful forceps delivery being carried out

samarcanda Mon 14-Feb-11 09:05:12

because i am in the medical profession i know that i can pull out every sort of studies... i'm sure i can get some turkish based clinical studies that prove that forceps are actually good for the baby's brain development.

Looking at the single case with your experience as a professional doctor is what will give you the real risk/reward ratio.

You continue being sarcastic and annoying , i really don't mind if you want to go through forceps deliveries for all your babies... infact, good luck with it !!
however as i feel sorry for you and whoever else gets brain washed by the tons of CHILDBIRTH politics going on...and being the aromatherapy doctor that you say I am, i will now provide my experience in the backstage of a hospital (of course gathered watching House and ER on TV!):

first of all there are very few cases that medical professionals cannot forecast in terms of outcome for something like childbirth, we are not talking about some experimental organ transplant, if you have done a repetitive job every day for 20 years, you know that the situations where you are really caught by surprise are minimal.

Furthermore, somebody in the numbers rooms make tons of fancy spreadsheets with all the reports of single patients outcomes... this is the reason why the whole healthcare system these days is based on probability based PROTOCOLS...that are decided NOT by medical professionals but by Accountants on the basis of the budget that they are given

probabilities.. if you have ever gambled in the stockmarket or at a casino, you will know they mean NOTHING and are a recipe for disaster.

The pre-assesment of a patient (in phase 1 of labour and during antenatal care) will allow the medical professionals to allocate the patient to a certain probability based protocol. If your baby is back to back, you do not have much fluid, you have failure to progress, your anatomy is slightly odd for a certain size baby, you will fall in a score of X%... this is the probability that with the that specific hospital protocol you and your baby will have X% probability of complications, morbidity, mortality etc....
accountants have these tables... they meet every year and look at their money and decide... can we afford to reduce that x% of patient distress, risk, discomfort etc ?

now if you are in a well funded hospital, or in private care, or in a country where the healthcare system is actually well managed (not the case of the UK unfortunately) they might say YES... but if you are in your average NHS hospital... where understaffing is a routine and cost pressure always a must, then their answer is gonna be WE ACCEPT THAT X% RISK.

This is unfortunately the reason why there are less c sections in UK hospitals and more forceps deliveries than anywhere else in the civilized world. THis is also the reason why there are LESS EPIDURALS and more emphasis on how natural the birth has to be.... if we can cut costs on pain relief for women in labour, WHY NOT? there are many other areas that require more urgent funding. after all isn't it written somewhere : "woman, you will give birth in pain???" .

THEY KNOW these practices are more risky and quite barbarians for the women and can be avoided, BUT the accountants prefer to allocate money elsewhere.

a lot of doctors within the NHS have been fighting these practices (which by the way come from USA where healthcare is managed as a business!) quite strongly within hospital politics because although they provide a great way to meet ends, they are really often NOT in the best interest of the patient.

there is however little a doctor can do, patients can and should do more to be their own advocates instead of falling in the traps of ideology... where everyone fight because homebirths are cool (there's a reason why women die MUCH less of childbirth now than in Victorian times, it is because they GO TO THE HOSPITAL to give birth !!!, not because of forceps, cause those were already used in the middle ages!)

sadly patients are often caught in the politics and are misinformed ....

USHY, good point about the comparison... of course an easy vaginal birth is much better and a c section ! :D I'd sign up to it anytime.... the difference is that one is an uncertain event, the other one is quite liekly togo as planned.

Margles Mon 14-Feb-11 10:10:00

(there's a reason why women die MUCH less of childbirth now than in Victorian times, it is because they GO TO THE HOSPITAL to give birth !!!,

Er no - you only have to look at the US maternal mortality rates to know that this isn't so. In Victorian times hospitals had much higher mortality rates because the Drs went from handling cadavers to attending pregnant woment. Semmelweiss pointed this out, and was ridiculed; his work was only accepted after his death. Coming back to today: where is MRSA a problem? At home? I don't think so. In hospital - yes.

The major reason for improved rates of maternal mortality now are more likely to be better health in the woman, better ante-natal care, better public health e.g. clean water & sewerage, plus anti-biotics to fight infection.

prettybird Mon 14-Feb-11 11:02:49

Waht I object to about Samarcanda is her desire to ban forceps angry - despite the fact the the evidence does not support it. These are research studies done by doctors, not accountants. (In fact, one of them, an 18 year follow-up study, did find that there was an improved IQ for boys extracted by forceps rather than ventouse - but it didn't try to impose the use of either - rather just the need for experinece use. And no, it wasn't dones in Turkey - it was doen in the UK).

It is a Catch 22 situtation - forceps are a safe alternative in practiced hands - but if you don't allow people to use them, then no-one can get the experience or to maintain their expertise. And part of that is observing forceps being used (which is why I am glad that my own birth expereince helped a trainee)

The other very sad thing I have found (which my father often reminds me) is that the US's maternal and neonatal morbidity rates are far higher than they should be, given the US's relative wealth. Not a model we really want to follow.

Mistakes do get made in medicine - doctors are human beings and not infallible. I have a friend whose daughter was born profoundly handicapped and with a life expectacvny of less than a year following a uterine rupture which was not diagnosed. However, I am not going to exptrapolate from that that everyone should have a ELCS.

Ds' own birth was apparently stragihtofrward - so aboslutely no indicactions of the need for a CS (quite apart from my strong desire not to have one). (With hindsight) the midwife made a mistake in getting me to push while I was in transition (first time labour, I didn't know any better so did I was told) resulting in maternal exhaustion - and a baby stuck half way down/up the birth canal. Ventouse was not an option. How else was he going to get out?

Smamrcanda's logic of banning forceps would either mean that all births would have to be ELCS (as you can't always predict which ones will cause problems) or that babies like ds would die or risk sever damage because he would remain stuck - becasue even if I had had an emergenecy CS, forceps would still have had to be used to get him back up the birth canal - either that, or hack me to bits hmm.

As it was, I have a gorgeous ds - and if I had been able to get pregnant again, was told that subsequent births would have been a doddle (OK, not quite in those words wink)

Cleofartra Mon 14-Feb-11 13:12:22

I'm incredibly glad that forceps are often used instead of abdominal surgery.

There's NO WAY I'd have wanted a C/S with my first child.

None of the many women I know who've had a forceps delivery would have preferred a c/s.

"Looking at the single case with your experience as a professional doctor is what will give you the real risk/reward ratio".

Were you being sarcastic samarcanda?

You only have to look at the shameful history of obstetrics in the US and Europe to know that a huge amount of obstetric practice has been incredibly damaging to women and babies - routine episiotomy, scopolamine births, routine use of forceps, restraints and lithotomy. And all done by individual doctors delivering babies year in year out, utterly convinced that their way was the 'right' way.

If doctors spent more time watching and listening to mothers in labour and let it inform their practice they'd do far less damage and far more good.

gloyw Mon 14-Feb-11 13:57:30

I was a forceps baby, and have permanent nerve damage to my face - nothing major or disabling, but a lazy eye and a bit of a droop on one side of my face. Forceps can damage babies beyond a 'few marks' and mild bruising.

I had a CS for my 1st, and it was a wonderful experience, from which I recovered very quickly. Without exception, every other mother I know who had a forceps delivery found it brutal and traumatising and had difficult recoveries. Some of them are still having pelvic floor and continence issues over a year later, not to mention pain from episiotomy scars.

People are right to point out there are different kinds of forceps, and different kinds of forceps delivery. Right too to point out there are a few circumstances where forceps are the only option.

However, I feel that while the risks of a CS are widely circulated (and sometimes exaggerated, in fact), the risks of a forceps delivery to mother and child are hugely downplayed.

Pelvic floor damage to women is simply not taken seriously enough. Some of my friends have been left shocked at the level of pain and damage caused to them which is considered to be fairly normal during a forceps delivery. Many of them had longer stays in hospital than I did after my CS due to the severity of their injuries, and the fact they needed catheters to be kept in for days.

Yes, a forceps delivery is a bit cheaper than a CS on the day. But we never factor in the aftercare or the effects of a forceps delivery. If a baby is left bruised and in pain for the first few days of its life, if it makes successful BF-ing hard to establish, if the mother takes months to heal and is left scarred and traumatised - if they need physio or surgery to deal with incontinence - well, let's hope saving that few hundred pounds on the day was worth it.

prettybird Mon 14-Feb-11 15:57:56

How about all the mothers in this thread who have talked about having had forceps deliveries that were OK? hmm

It's the usual thing: you only know about those people who complain or have issues with the birth. I don't go about telling people that ds was delivered using forceps because to me it wasn't a big trauma.

In fact, when I went to see a physio about some (minor) problems I was having, I told her initially that I had had a natural birth (becuase it was vaginal and not a CS). It was only having gone through other infomration that I said "oh, it was forceps," "oh, I was induced" (waters had broken more than 24 hours beforehand). I thereofre had 3 out of the 3 risk facotrs for damage (the 3rd being the fact that ds was over 4kg - even though they had predicted a small baby as my bump was small and neat).

Cleofartra Mon 14-Feb-11 16:41:28

gloyw - incontinence is also a problem for mothers who've had c/s too!

And where is your evidence that the risks of forceps are 'hugely downplayed' or that the risks of c/s are 'often exaggerated'. And by whom?

prettybird Mon 14-Feb-11 17:24:00

Damage following a forceps delivery is very sad.

Even more sad is death following a cesarean section Jim Scythes speaks speaks after wife's death in childbirth

eviscerateyourmemory Mon 14-Feb-11 17:48:11


Please stop claiming to be a doctor. Or if by some bizarre chance that is what you are, please discuss your ideas around this topic to a colleague so that they can explain things to you.

Chynah Mon 14-Feb-11 20:07:07

Prettybird - Sad article yes but don't think the CS actually killed her. The article talks about obesity etc and the health of the mother being a primary factor in US death rates and you can see from the piture that the poor woman was clearly very overweight.

gloyw Tue 15-Feb-11 21:15:11

cleo - The NHS public patient info on forceps deliveries is here - trumentaldelivery.aspx

All it says about risks to babies is "Forceps can leave small marks on your baby's face, but these will disappear with time." This thread alone proves there is often a lot more damage than this to babies, myself included.

And there is no mention at all of pelvic floor damage to mothers. If that's not playing down the risks, I don't know what is.

All the more surprising when this NICE document, p 242 - reSeptember2007mainguideline.pdf
- finds that babies born by assisted vaginal birth (forceps or ventouse) are MORE LIKELY to have trauma (physical damage) than those born by CS.

Of course mothers who have had CS's can have incontinence issues too. They are just much less likely to have them. See here - df - page 49.

And really, common sense kicks in here. Childbirth is the main cause of female incontinence. The greater the pelvic floor trauma, the more likely longterm damage is. CSections avoid this trauma.

Of course, the huge problem with ALL info about CSections is that emergency CS's and elective CS's get lumped in together. The vast majority of Csections are emergencies - carried out because the mother or most commonly the baby is in serious danger. They are therefore much more likely to suffer all kinds of complications after birth than a healthy mother and baby.

NICE stats also make no allowance for the fact that some poor women will have CS's after instrumental intervention has failed. There is going to be pelvic floor damage for those CS mothers that is never an issue for planned Csection mothers like me.

This is where people's habitual inability to distinguish between association and cause comes in. Are mothers more likely to die after a CS than a vaginal birth? Yes. Mothers will be having emrgency CS's because they have a life threatening condition in the first place.

To illustrate - heart operations have much greater post-op mortality rates than operations for ingrowing toenails. However, stopping all heart operations in the expectation that cardiac patients would stop dying would obviously be stupid.

Poor information about childbirth is rife. It's appalling. It disempowers women and contributes to post birth trauma. The NHS patient info about forceps delivery is woefully inadequate.

Karasmummy Mon 04-Feb-13 10:59:57

I had forceps and episiotomy, it was horrendous and left me fecally incontinent and my bits look like something from a horror film, forceps should be banned i now know they are notorious for causing incontinence etc. I am making a formal complaint to the hospital, the big male doctor was less than gentle and my lo looked like she'd been in the ring with tyson, luckily she is fine now unlike myself. I will never have another baby!!! If id have known the lasting affects i wouldn't have had one.

VodkaJelly Mon 04-Feb-13 20:13:02

I totally disagree Karasmummy. My DD was stuck during delivery and the consultant used forceps to turn her and I pushed her out. Yes the episiotomy was painful and I still have some pain from the scar 4 weeks later, but if they hadnt have used forceps to turn her I would have had an emergency c section. In my opinion the forceps were better than major surgery.

cravingcake Tue 05-Feb-13 12:44:40

Not read whole thread but my DS was forceps delivery 15 months ago.

I had a 4th degree tear, pph, episiotomy which tore also. I felt every second of it and can honestly say it was the worst experience of my life. I felt like I was being torn in half (which basically I was).

The forceps bruised my DS face and ear, but worse, he had 3 neck vertebrae out of line that a chiropractor had to fix and he will have to see for the rest of his life to keep things lined up.

My insides are torn to bits and I'm waiting for surgery to fix things before I can have another child. I am still in pain daily, from a direct result of forceps. They may have saved my son's life (he needed resus immediately) but a C-section would have as well, with perhaps less damage to both of us.

I have been told since by 2 different gynae consultants that I should never ever give birth naturally again and that I am promised a ELCS and have this in writing.

So injuries do happen.

brettgirl2 Tue 05-Feb-13 14:17:29

Rather than banning forceps why not just discuss the risks of different approaches with women prior to the birth? Instead of ramming the 'natural is best' down their throats and refusing to discuss anything else in case it scares them. Then they can make their own decision ahead of time, isn't it called 'patient centred care', which is seemingly considered best practice in everything apart from childbirth?

I was delivered by forceps, gash in the head mum lots of stitches by a junior doctor doing their first forceps in 1977. I suppose someone has to be the unlucky victim but mum went private with my brother so she knew he would be delivered by a consultant. She still thinks it was better than a section (my dad didn't drive at that point for one thing). Me I was lucky and had 2 natural births with no intervention.

atrcts Tue 05-Feb-13 14:41:59

I had forceps delivery and it was brutal. I was shoved so hard up the bed that they had to pull me back down to continue!

Baby came out with purple rings on his eyes and was cut and bruised for weeks after. He was desperate to suck constantly and I think he must've had one heck of a earache poor little mite. I took him to a baby cranial chiropractor to help realign his spine.

It twisted my pelvis so much that it hurt to stand and took 2 years to heal. I also needed Physio to help tone up the anal sphincter and although it improved, it's never been the same since.

I have a medical condition (multiple sclerosis) which studies show increase the likelihood of an assisted delivery. For this reason, and because of the MS fatigue, I want a c section next time. I'd rather repair for 6 week than 2 years!

sofiashewolfe Fri 18-Jul-14 20:53:26

Forceps are a good thing and there is a place for them in modern obstetrics , I had a very traumatic delivery with my first baby , and spent 31 hours in labour , as I had preeclampsia in the last three weeks of my labour , an induction was planned at 39 weeks , I was taken into hospital a day before labour was due to be induced on christmas eve , and promptly went into early labour on the morning of the 23rd December,
The first 12 hours was basically just spent walking around with the pain in my back peaking every five minutes , this set the pattern of the entire labour terrible back ache and no stomach pain at all !
About nine hours before the birth my waters went , and the whole labour changed metre from then onwards , the staff realised from the looking at the waters , they were a dark green colour , that my baby was distressed so a drip was set up to increase the contractions and about an hour before birth whilst nearly fully dilated a pudential nerve block was set up , forceps were used for the entire length of second stage and Ben was born 12. 47 pm on Christmas eve weighing 4,5 kilos nearly ten pounds , he was bruised heavily around the cheeks but over wise no problems at all , very glad I was spared the pain of pushing to safe guard both my blood pressure and a distressed baby .it was a mid cavity delivery i found out later.

Memphisbelly Fri 18-Jul-14 21:00:42

I had forceps, I had black bruising on my inner thighs down to my knees, the woman doing it had one leg up on the bed and a nurse standing behind her and she shook he was tugging so much, the pressure was unreal (no pain due to mobile epidural) and I screamed 'your going to break my pelvis'

My mum has had 3 children and been at all her grandchildrens births but the trauma of seeing forceps made her so upset for so long after she needed some councelling.

I am glad I had it done and no lasting effects, My only problem was we went from pushing stage to 10 people in room and no one told me what was happening, they didn't have time to get me to theatre and did it in delivery room. They

lady1980 Fri 18-Jul-14 21:07:24

My second Cs last April , was delivered by forceps , her poor little face was so out of shape , the surgeon explained she was in a funny position,

GalaxyInMyPants Fri 18-Jul-14 21:14:11

Samarcanda. I have no idea if you're a Dr or not but I'm 100% sure you're not an obstetrician. So you did what four weeks obs and gynae placement in your 4th year at med school? One week of which was spent on labour ward.

As someone who does work on a busy labour ward and has done for ten years and has taught numerous Drs how to conduct forceps deliveries I can promise you you're talking utter bollocks.

And a lscs is major abdominal surgery.

I gave birth 2.5 weeks ago and insisted on a c section instead of Kielland's forceps. I was induced at 14 days overdue. I got to fully dilated without much trouble, but baby was still high up in my pelvis and back to back. My contractions weren't succeeding in moving him much and the pain was constant and unbearable. It felt like my pelvis was splitting. After 20 hours of active labour, I was told it would have to be an assisted delivery and only when I asked was I told this meant Kielland's rotational forceps to turn him.

I had read about these forceps due to a terribly sad case where a baby girl had died after botched use during delivery. I refused consent and asked for a c section, which was granted. The emcs went well and recovery has been very straightforward.

I have wondered since whether I did the right thing - going against medical advice based on a tragic story in the media and a bit of googling. It turned out that against expectations, baby was massive - 11 pounds 9 ounces. It seems likely that this would have decreased the chance of successful use of the forceps and increased the possibility of trauma to baby. In any case, I would much rather have an abdominal scar which is healing well and has been mostly painfree, to risking my bladder, bowel and vaginal function with these forceps. Some of the stories on this thread are awful, and I'm counting myself lucky that this didn't happen to me.

bronya Wed 23-Jul-14 12:54:56

My DS got stuck early on, and MW told me he was already too low for a CS so it was the big scary forceps only. When the consultant came in, I'd managed to shift him a bit, and was adamant they weren't coming anywhere near me with those things. I got him almost all the way out, but as he was crowning, he kept pushing himself back in with his hand, that was stretched out by his head. I ended up with an epi and forceps - they didn't pull at all, just held his head so he couldn't push himself back in between contractions. He was out in one big push and was fine. Wasn't very keen on the MW but the consultant was fantastic, and did a really good job.

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