Forceps or CS?

(60 Posts)
ChicaT Mon 04-Feb-13 15:20:09

I have a heart condition and have been told that I won't be allowed to push for more than 20 mins when giving birth...this is my first baby, he's quite large, and I don't think there is any way I'll be able to push him out in 20 mins! They would then use forceps to remove him, which while it can cause internal tearing to me and bruising to him, I'm still being told is preferable to a CS due to elevated blood clot risk. I would be put on epidural very early on which can slow labour down, and as I would have been on it for such a long time by the time it comes to push, I may not be able to push at all! I've also been offered a CS if I want one. What are your experiences with forceps? Hideous? Do-able? Would you go VB it if you knew in advance forceps would be used? TBH a CS is seeming a lot simpler and calmer!

CabbageLooking Mon 04-Feb-13 15:25:11

This is a really personal decision and I can only offer you my own experience. I had a forceps delivery. It was really difficult and I was quite battered afterward. My DS seems to have a slightly squished head as a result and it was suggested that failure to breastfeed was due to the use of forceps. This may of course be speculative bollocks but I can tell you that 7 months on, I still wince a bit during sex. Having said this, it doesn't mean that this would be your experience; they might whip him/her out in seconds and you could be absolutely fine. I would opt for the CS given the choice.

FirstTimeForEverything Mon 04-Feb-13 15:28:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

loveroflife Mon 04-Feb-13 15:38:01

It's also worth considering if they can't get the baby out with the forceps out, you will have to have an emcs anyway.

I would have an elcs to avoid that trauma, as apparently an elcs is a lot calmer than emcs and a different experience. Had an emcs with ds and was very manic and stressful. Need to consider whether to have an elcs or a vbac with dc2, so can understand your predicament.

Have you spoken to consultant/midwife about your choices? 20mins is a staggeringly small amount of time for them to expect you to deliver your first born, I'm surprised they are still telling you this is your preferable choice.....

MerylStrop Mon 04-Feb-13 15:40:40

Were those my options, I would have a elcs, without a shadow of a doubt.

duchesse Mon 04-Feb-13 15:48:34

ELCS any time. I know too many people with lasting trauma to their undercarriage from forceps. You have to weigh up the blood clot thing as well though. Hoping your little one surprises you with a 30mn labour. Good luck, whatever you decide.

Wereonourway Mon 04-Feb-13 15:53:24

I had a horrific forceps delivery. Ds was battered and bruised beyond belief. I suffer from sciatica, huge episiotomy and damaged coccyx.
Wrong forceps were also used as ds was back to back. And he was only 5lb 10oz at 6 weeks prem.

Although we are both great now I'd give anything for a calmer birth, even a cs.

Also I was told to push as they used forceps so you would still be required to push.

NoMoreWineForMeThen Mon 04-Feb-13 15:56:40

I've had both and, based on my personal experience, I would go for ELCS every time. I won't give you the graphic detail but honestly, EMCS was a much less traumatic experience.

MrsHoarder Mon 04-Feb-13 16:02:24

Speak to your consultant and ask what you chances are of getting the baby out without forceps. I'd go for an ELCS above forceps any day of the week, the forceps used on DS (who was nearly out after an hour of pushing) were brutal.

Teladi Mon 04-Feb-13 16:09:33

I had forceps and then a post partum haemorrhage. It wasn't nice and it took my episiotomy a long time to heal afterwards. DD's head was very bruised and she wouldn't feed. She never learned and I do wonder that we might have been more successful with that if I had had a CS, even though it is supposed to be a bit more difficult to get them to feed if you have a CS.

Overall, I am not sure in my situation if it was preferable to an eventual CS but I think in your position, I would have a CS... as another poster mentioned, elCS should be a more calm experience. We had prepared for an emCS, if baby would not be delivered using forceps. I found it quite scary and weird trying to push while under spinal block and it was all a bit tense really.

I had forceps for my second child and vowed never again. Needed cuts and loads of stitches and could hardly walk for a fortnight. Having my 3rd they said i needed forceps and I was adamant that I would rather a CS but just at the last minute he came out himself smile. I would advise CS.

laluna Mon 04-Feb-13 20:23:30

It is so difficult to predict an outcome. With an epidural (any birth really) if the second stage is managed so that the baby is as low as possible before pushing is commenced this can minimise the length of time involved. If the baby is optimally positioned if is possible for the pushing stage to be less than half an hour. I note your heart condition but 20 mins seems so arbitrary without monitoring your vitals/progress etc.

And why forceps? Has anyone mentioned a ventouse? They are generally less traumatic. Not sure why an early epidural is indicated as this is less likely to maximise the chance of normal birth. You mention blood clot risk - is this something that is significant in your history to make an epidural risky? Don't get why they are posing the risk of an emcs for thrombosis but advocating an elective one??

Just my thoughts. Have you thought about having a chat with a Supervisor of Midwives? Hope you come to a decision without too much stress.

Figgygal Mon 04-Feb-13 20:26:56

I had a forceps delivery and episiotomy after epidural it was fine recovered well and quickly.

Pourquoimoi Mon 04-Feb-13 20:40:03

I had forceps followed by an emergency section under general anaesthetic. Neither were pleasant and the forceps were one if the worst feelings I've ever had but did not last long. The recovery from the section was more painful and lasted a lot longer.

The recovery from a planned section a few years later was a lot lot better in comparison.

Good luck!

Marrow Mon 04-Feb-13 20:48:13

ELCS without a doubt. I had emergency section for first child and forceps delivery for my second. I recovered from the section very quickly but two years after my forceps delivery I still have issues and can't imagine that I will ever feel normal again.

MsTimTam Mon 04-Feb-13 20:56:12

I had am emcs after a long labour with dd1, then forceps and episiotomy with spinal block in theatre with dd2. My recovery was much quicker with dd2, even after I needed anti-bs for an infection of the episiotomy.
Having said that, if I'd known I would end up having forceps, I may have chosen an elcs...
Good luck whatever you decide smile

Tranquilitybaby Mon 04-Feb-13 23:31:00

I've had two sections and would choose that than forceps any day of the week.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 04-Feb-13 23:44:59

I'd go for el lscs with that plan. They can and should give you clexane injections to combat the dvt risk.

vamosbebe Mon 04-Feb-13 23:49:43

I can only telll you about my forceps delivery for my DS, and subsequent whopping episiotomy: 14 months on and I'm still in a lot of pain and unable to do simple things (bonk, wear a tampon/mooncup, exercise, sit comfortably, walk...) and the pain of the pushing broke through the barrier of my epidural. I was one push away from emcs - in hindsight I'd have preferred that.
There's a reason DS will be an only.

Please talk everything through with midwives, doctors, gynaes etc and weigh up pros and cons for your needs.

herethereandeverywhere Tue 05-Feb-13 00:30:47

I've had a Keillands forceps delivery and (as a result of that experience!) an ELCS.

ELCS was by far the better to experience and the easier to recover from - hands down, no contest.

(I've posted my experiences lots of times on here if you want to read it search my nickname in "childbirth" - 'twas not fun.)

amazingmumof6 Tue 05-Feb-13 01:46:33

I had both and I recommend you go for ELSC in your condition and circumstances.

DS1 was a forceps delivery and the most traumatic birth out of all of 6, and the recovery time from the episiotomy was just ridiculous.

I vividly remember going for a walk when DS1 was 8 months old, but I had to cut it short coz of the pain from scar and I was in tears by the time I got home.

DS4 was ELSC due to being footling breech, so no choice there, but it was absolutely fine.
not being able to drive for weeks did my head in and the scar was sensitive for a months, but nothing as bad as the first birth.

hope this helps

amazingmumof6 Tue 05-Feb-13 01:54:03

marrow I only felt "right" again when DS2 was born (2 year gap) and I realized how much worse the 1st birth was!

The "success" of giving birth to DS2 with normal VB healed me somehow by "cancelling out" the previous trauma.

sorry OP, not hijacking! (I hope)

Lilliana Tue 05-Feb-13 02:05:50

I ended up with forceps as they thought dd was distressed. Was really scared of forceps but it was fine. Local anesthetic for episiotomy and didn't feel it. Very quick delivery and not the nicest so a bit shocked but me and dd both fine and bf well. She is now 9 weeks and i feel normal. I wouldn't worry about having forceps again if needed.

Sorry to hear that so many people have had bad experiences of forceps. I had DS seven weeks ago, he was induced and I needed an epidural to cope with the drip. I couldn't feel when I should push and exhausted myself after an hour of trying! Ended up having a forceps delivery in theatre with a small episiotomy (four stitches). It's all healed really well and was nowhere near as horrendous as I thought it might be.

amazingmumof6 Tue 05-Feb-13 03:16:57

liliana and coffeecream congrats to both of you, and really glad you had good experiences!

may I suggests that after a forceps delivery it is a good idea to have a cranial osteopathy session for baby, just to make sure everything is ok.
especially if baby seems to cry a lot, a little gentle manipulation of the plates can settle things into place.

DS1 had a nasty bruise on his head from where he was stuck before and during 3 hours of pushing and another on his face from the forceps, and I'm so glad a had him checked over, my osteopath (my hero!) reassured me that they did a good job at his birth as there was no damaged whatsoever on he cranium or the facial bones.

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