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!

DontmindifIdo Wed 06-Feb-13 15:36:24

Samarcanda - you know if the baby is in a funny position, they will use forceps to get the baby out during a c section as well...

But generally OP, I'd go ELCS.

Narked Wed 06-Feb-13 15:40:27

Big difference between taking a baby out of a c-section incision and a vagina.

oscarwilde Wed 06-Feb-13 16:09:03

I've had an emcs and a vbac with forceps, minimal 2nd degree tears to perineum and she was out in one push (with forceps - quite a bit of pushing before then). In my experience the recovery from a CS was faster by quite some way. About 6 versus 12 weeks to feel "normal" and my pelvic floor is still weak. Reading the postings above it seems to be quite conclusively in favour of ELCS.
I was lucky enough to be able to consult a friend who is an obstetrics consultant and the opinion there was that multiple CS's are low risk in their eyes if you are having a normal pregnancy. By your 3rd+CS a consultant will be operating / overseeing due to risk of adhesions but before then you will in all likelihood be treated as low risk.
My friend also noted to me that there are lower instances of geriatric incontinence and other issues in later life in countries with a high instance of CS delivery. I was going for an ELCS but my DC2 had other ideas so vbac with forceps it was. shock

ByTheWay1 Wed 06-Feb-13 18:44:56

samarcanda - I could equally scare you with pictures of scarred babies cut by the surgeon's knife - there are benefits and risks to both.

I personally recovered much more quickly from a forceps delivery than from a CS, some will find the opposite. Most forceps deliveries actually turn out just fine, as do most CS deliveries..... and as someone has mentioned forceps can also be used during a CS delivery.

samarcanda Wed 06-Feb-13 20:44:09

Sorry, Don t agree, if you actually ask for hard data (we did because it was part of the legal case against the hospital for the way my cousin was treated) you will realize that the risks associated to an elcs for mother and baby are tiny compared to the ones of a forceps birth... What I find SHOCKING and i try to advocate against is that these risks are played down by almost everyone in the NHs and the risks of c sections are played up so women are not properly informed ... This allows hospitals to save loads of money without being challenged at the expense of patients. There are certainly some cases where using forceps is the safest option because labour is too far along and risky to have a c section, but these are only a ver small part. In reality forceps are used to avoid the hassle and cost of surgery.... And of course there will be positive experience and negative ones for everything...

amyboo Thu 07-Feb-13 09:44:37

I would never have forceps. They're not used at all in the hospital where I give birth (in Russels, Belgium). I'd opt for ELCS every time. Had one for DS1 (footling breech) and it was fine.

Loislane78 Fri 08-Feb-13 06:57:21

I have blood clotting issues and took Clexane injections throughout pg and afterwards. Plenty of people have Clexane/fragmin after a CS so I'd be asking the consultant about this.

ChicaT Tue 19-Feb-13 08:30:45

Goodness so many responses! Thank you everyone for your honesty, advice and support. In answer to some of your questions - I'm on Clexane 40ml daily but as you have to stop taking it 12-24 hours before birth, at the time of the birth when blood clot risk is highest it won't be have any effect during the birth itself. It's not possible to take Clexane during vb or cs birth because of the risk of losing too much blood. I wouldn't be allowed to push for more than 20 mins, and would be given the epidural so early to reduce stress from pain, and to reduce strain on my heart. I have a very good consultant, and I'm going private so no NHS funding issues come in to play, my consultant is just pro-vb, although she is perfectly happy for me to have a cs, it's entirely my choice. The issue is clotting - pregnancy raises your blood clot risk by 6 (i.e. all of us are 6 times more likely to have a clot while pregnant) a CS raises the risk by 10 and the highest blood clot risk would be with an EMCS where it raises to 13 or 14. My consultant has explained the risks of both options to me quite clearly, but is still in favour of vb with forceps - her equipment of choice as I think she has many successful forceps deliveries - over what is a major operation. I'm pretty decided on a cs now, especially after so many of you have confirmed what I thought - that the damage from forceps /episiotomies etc can be pretty severe to both mum and baby, though mostly and more long-lasting to mum, and that it's difficult to push under epidural. And I have an L-shaped coccyx from an old snowboarding accident, just waiting to block a vb baby! So when you add a potential re-broken coccyx to the mix...

I had a CVA (stroke) a few years ago which is how the heart condition was discovered, so I'm keen to avoid another clot, but i still think I'd rather have the controlled risk of the cs despite the blood clot risk rather than unknown potential damage to me and baby. Given the upheaval the stroke caused, a calm under-control cs birth appeals...especially as a home water birth with no intervention or drugs is so not on the cards! It is still strange and scary to volunteer for a major op, but I'm hoping once I have our little boy in my arms none of it will matter anyway.

MiaowTheCat Tue 19-Feb-13 13:00:10

I had what, in terms of actual birth injury aftermath, a pretty straightforward forceps delivery - 3c tear which appears to have healed OK (I can never bring myself to furtle down there and check), minimal physical discomfort and only(!) a small amount of bruising to the baby. LOADS of stitches, manual removal of a shredded placenta in chunks - guys up to their elbows in me but not telling me what the hell was going on (it's only polite to offer SOME explanation when you're up to your elbows in someone's uterus), and some long-term damage to my SPD from the spinal block and ramming my legs right up by my ears in stirrups while numbed - I have permanent niggles and pain in one hip as a result of them completely ignoring my pleas not to pull my legs too far apart and hurt me permanently.

Mentally though (and this is at least partially because of how they bullied and threatened me into it) I have massive birth trauma to the extent it affects my ability to cope with everyday life without medication to fall back on - and it really has shattered my life completely in that regard.

Because of that - if I knew there was the slightest risk of them getting forcep happy again next time - I'd be pushing for a section... and since the idea of sections terrifies me - that's quite a strong jump for me to make that.

ChicaT Wed 20-Feb-13 01:00:52

Oh Miaow I'm so sorry that sounds like an absolutely awful experience. I think a lot of the medical profession can forget that we are humans, real people, they just see the medical condition. They don't have to make a traumatic experience worse than it is by not caring - I haven't experienced birth yet but I did witness medics treating my mum, who had terminal cancer, with terrible lack of respect and compassion. Hideous

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