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Is it possible to totally refuse forceps?

(133 Posts)
RevoltingPeasant Tue 26-Mar-13 17:38:32

This is a musing rather than urgent Q, as not even pg yet! Am v organised grin

The Birthrights thread got me thinking: can you refuse in advance one specific procedure, or is this just really not possible?

In an ideal world I'd want a homebirth but would transfer to hospital if any probs. However, once there, would it be possible to say I simply don't want forceps under any circs, and to go straight to CS if it's tending that way?

Or will an NHS hospital not have that flexibility?

I ask because I've seen some forceps horror stories, and that + episiotomy is my real fear during birth! <wimp>

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 01-Apr-13 22:37:38

Yes, thank you Vinegar. I was obsessive in my research before I could ever fall pregnant again. It is sad that I thought the risks were higher for my baby and me were higher by listening to my caregivers on the day than not.

I do have to say again, that the midwives attending my next two births were really very good and competent 'hands-off' hcps and whilst I didn't trust them much at the time, I would now trust them with my life and my baby's.

Bibs123 Mon 01-Apr-13 22:47:43

cake baby - forceps are used as a last resort usually when mother has been pushing for a long period and baby has become stuck. It could be very dangerous to pull baby back up through the birth canal to perform a section so there is only one way out. A forceps could get the baby out but you would refuse that? so that means you would leave the baby stuck and at risk of death or brain damage because forceps could cause damage to your child? Not forgetting the extra risks that come with a section to mother and baby.

tilder Mon 01-Apr-13 22:49:19

Starlight I'm glad your subsequent Labour's went much better.

Cakebaby, that is entirely your prerogative. Personally I have found for my three labours that things go best when everyone is working as a team. You seem to have quite a confrontational/litigious view on things, if you have worries or concerns please talk to your mw beforehand.

BuntyCollocks Thu 04-Apr-13 14:06:02

For both my births I absolutely refused to consent to forceps, and that was in my birth plans. My DM and DH were told they were not to be used and I would rather a section.

DS ended up a section, but couldn't have been delivered any other way anyway.

Dd was a lovely vbac with no intervention

BuntyCollocks Thu 04-Apr-13 14:07:00

Also - with DS he was crowning, and got pushed back up and out the sunroof.

zirca Fri 05-Apr-13 23:14:09

I refused Keilland forceps. They said DC's heartbeat was erratic and wasn't coping with labour. So I stopped pushing, and heartbeat stabilised. I then pushed, stopping if the heartbeat faltered. That went ok so they left me to get on with it. DC unstuck themselves and got most of the way out, then we needed low forceps and episiotomy for the final bit. That was fine and not an issue. I didn't want Keilland forceps because of the risk of brain damage etc for the baby.

PeaceAndHope Sun 07-Apr-13 22:56:54

Yes. If a medical treatment is forced on you then that it considered assault.

I wouldn't worry so much about harming the baby- when a forceps delivery is suggested, a c-section is typically also an option. They are likely to prep you and take you to theatre anyway in case forceps don't work. You have every right to tell them not to bother with a trial of forceps and waste time and go straight to a c-section instead.

To the people saying why wouldn't someone consent to forceps. Because they cause facial nerve palsy, erb's palsy, nerve injuries, spinal cord injuries and paralysis in babies. For mum, they are associated with an increased risk of third and fourth degree tears, anal sphincter damage, incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse and PPH. The question should be: Why would you consent to forceps? Especially nowadays, when they are recommend forceps when c-sections are also possible, just to save money.

louisianablue2000 Sun 07-Apr-13 23:19:50

I worried quite a bit about tearing before DD1 but there is not a lot you can do about it unless you get an ELCS. Not sure that would heal any quicker anyway. FWIW my episiotomy took less time to heal than one of my tears.

WRT a forceps delivery, in the heat of the moment you might have no choice. DS's heartbeat started to drop 2h into labour so they decided to go for an EMCS. I was 5 cm when they checked in the delivery suite. By the time I was pushed through to theatre I was 10cm and having involuntary pushes. They abandoned the EMCS and I was told 'you push and I'll pull' (notes said 'mother agreed to forceps'). Luckily he came so quickly they didn't have time to prep me for forceps. But the point is you might well be in a situation where you have no time to make calm decisions and a birth plan would be ignored, and trust me, you'll just want the baby safe at that point.

Try not to worry about worse case scenarios, we always hear the horror stories but you have no idea if they will happen to you and the worst ones are rare.

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