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1 in 3 first time mother's need forceps or vaccum

(343 Posts)
KayBM Fri 22-May-20 19:25:01

Just stumbled across leaflet on rcog was published in April 2020, so too late for me! But it says 1 in 3 women who are first time mother's need forceps or vaccum. Pretty sure there should be a bit of discussion about this with midwife...

The leaflet also says that for women who don't want an assisted birth they should consider a caeserean.

Just wondering if any first time mother's out there have been told this? Do you think women should be told this? Anyone think this should be on the NHS site too?

Anyone else think that a natural birth is highly unlikely for a first time mother? I wonder what the induction rates and c section rates are for first time mother's too?

Useruseruserusee Fri 22-May-20 19:28:03

I had a forceps birth with my first and it was traumatic. Massive haemorrhage of 3 litres afterwards, which took a long time to recover from.

I had an elective section with my second and in hindsight would have preferred that with my first.

MatchsticksForMyEyesReturns Fri 22-May-20 19:29:49

Nobody told me that with a back-to-back baby I would be more likely to need assistance. Nothing was very clearly explained during delivery and even 12yrs on I remember having a debrief the next day, but remembering little of it because I was so dazed.

Soubriquet Fri 22-May-20 19:29:54

I wasn’t told this

I didn’t need any either. I probably could have used an episiotomy instead as I tore badly and needed corrective surgery 2 years later.

KayBM Fri 22-May-20 19:30:45


Yep me too...wish I'd known these figures! So sorry to hear about your haemmorhage. I had one too, but not on that scale.

Hope you have healed well smile

KayBM Fri 22-May-20 19:58:04 the link is right here for any interested first time mums.

ByGrabtharsHammerWhatASavings Fri 22-May-20 19:59:43

I needed forcepts, ventouse, and a massive episiotomy with my first. And even then they only just got him out vaginally. He wasn't big either, only 7lb. I was prepped for surgery and actually on the operating table after a very very long induced labour with a back to back baby, but they decided to have one last go with the instruments as I was very opposed to having a c section. I knew my chances of needing an assisted delivery were higher as a FTM, and higher still if I had an epidural. I tried to get through without one but he was back to back and it was pure agony so I cracked after a few hours. The whole experience was very violent. With my second I had a natural labour in an MLU with just gas and air. They couldn't have been more different labours!

UnderTheBus Fri 22-May-20 20:02:28

Interesting that they use the word "need". Some hospitals have higher rates of intervention than others. Intervention is also more likely for women who have been induced. There is more to this than just about assumption that women can't give birth without intervention - we need to look at hospital policy and work out what could be contributing to it.

Frlrlrubert Fri 22-May-20 20:02:54

I had it in my birth plan and briefed my birth partners that if at all possible I would prefer EMC to instrumental delivery. I was terrified of it.

I don't know how it would have gone down if it had come to that, I was in the MLU so would have needed to be moved through to delivery anyway.

Luckily I managed to do without either, though did have a fairly substantial 2nd degree tear.

LisaSimpsonsbff Fri 22-May-20 20:08:37

I'm really shocked by those figures - I certainly wasn't ever told that and as far as I know no one has had forceps or ventouse (though I wonder if people are less likely to talk about that compared to, say, a C-section?) - apart from my mum, who had forceps for my birth 32 years ago and is still affected by it. I was terrified of needing forceps for this reason - I didn't need them, luckily, but I had no idea that odds were so high that I would.

UnderTheBus Fri 22-May-20 20:14:42

There definitely needs to be more information about these interventions, so that informed choices can be made. I remember at my NCT course they did a very quick introduction to forceps and ventouse - but didnt mention how likely they are to be used, or the likelihood of short term or lasting damage.

RoosterPie Fri 22-May-20 20:15:58

1 in 3?! That’s outrageous. I had no idea. I thought the stats for overall assisted births applied to me as a first time mother.

I’m pleased the leaflet recognises that wanting to avoid instruments is a valid reason for a section.

And forceps are not fucking “safe and effective” for the countless women whose lives have been blighted by birth injuries after having them. They’re a necessary evil but fuck off with your safe and effective.

MeadowHay Fri 22-May-20 20:18:24

Yes, my birth debrief was done about 9m after my birth, and the consultant midwife gave me that stat then and then openly said they don't tell pregnant FTMs that! To be honest I'm not sure I would have made a different decision anyway, as I think I would still have wanted to try for a vaginal birth. I wouldn't have insisted on a section at the time as it would have ended up being more risky for me and DD due to how low down DD was when we had the ventouse. But I do think these stats should be presented to pregnant women by their midwifes/antenatal educators to allow for more informed choice.

KayBM Fri 22-May-20 20:18:46


Such a fan of you! Lol they are not safe and effective when your nether regions are butchered...nor are they always so gentle on baby either. Disgusting that we're not told this, I had no idea either. shock

TinySleepThief Fri 22-May-20 20:19:16

I wasn't told these facts either and they do surprise me. I dont think they were actually mentioned in any of our classes other than a cursory mention of some deliveries mentioning instruments.

LisaSimpsonsbff Fri 22-May-20 20:21:25

I did a free, run by a midwife at my local hospital hypnobirthing course and I noticed that she was very willing to talk about C-section, talked about how you could still use hypnobirthing techniques for a section etc, but she pretty much refused to talk about instrumental birth.

KayBM Fri 22-May-20 20:23:22


It's absolutely disgusting. A real disgrace. It effectively means women are being treated unfairly, how many other times as a patient do you not get information like this. Considering the effects of forceps and vaccine can be life changing with major injuries I think women need the info.

Hope your darling daughter is fine and you're both keeping safe during the outbreak smile

KayBM Fri 22-May-20 20:24:59

Sorry typo...meant forceps and vaccum!

FourPlasticRings Fri 22-May-20 20:26:01

Anyone else think that a natural birth is highly unlikely for a first time mother?

No, not highly unlikely. Around sixty percent of first time mothers have uncomplicated vaginal deliveries.

KayBM Fri 22-May-20 20:28:17

Do you have the statistics to prove that @FourPlasticRings?

I am linking to a publication by the Royal College of Gynaecologists...or are they wrong? Or do you class forceps and vaccum as natural?

amazedmummy Fri 22-May-20 20:28:58

That's really interesting. DS was a big baby and I opted for an ELCS. Looks like the odds weren't great if I hadn't tbh.

RandomMess Fri 22-May-20 20:29:33

Go back 100 years or so how many FTM died in childbirth?

Really makes you think doesn't it, childbirth is risky.

KayBM Fri 22-May-20 20:30:14

Meant to say are forceps and vaccum uncomplicated? I guess that's a matter of opinion...but I would have appreciated knowing this before I had made my birth plan

TinySleepThief Fri 22-May-20 20:30:34

how many other times as a patient do you not get information like this.

I can't think of any other time you wouldn't be given all the information. In all other situations you would be presented with all the facts to make an informed choice. The fact a PP commented that midwife actually said they didn't tell FTMs this information is shocking.

Aria2015 Fri 22-May-20 20:32:14

I didn't know this. I had a back-to-back baby and needed and episiotomy and forceps. It happened so quickly towards the end that I don't really remember much. The room suddenly filled with people and they told me they needed to cut me and use forceps. I didn't have a big baby either, 7lbs.

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