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refusing forceps

(48 Posts)
saffy85 Mon 08-Nov-10 15:49:44

I'm only about 10 weeks with DC2 gone so birth is very far off, but have been scaring myself reading about forceps births and what can go wrong.

I really REALLY don't want anyone coming near me with forceps, dont have an issue with suction or a c section if i need either but not forceps. Does anyone know if it's ok to refuse forceps? and if so, will they pay any attention? im hopefully gonna give birth in the birthing centre attached to the hospital so this will hopefully be a non issue, but had a few problems last time (large baby, big head, back to back) and I'm anticipating bigger baby this time, so forceps may be suggested. DP thinks I'm being ridiculous about it all but this is making me anxious already (don't take much tbh).

blueberryboybait Mon 08-Nov-10 15:52:09

I had in my birth plan that if they thought I would require forceps then they were to do a section instead. The midwives and constultant were both fine with my decision but I was told to be prepared to have a GA if it was became urgent.

AllBellyandBoobs Mon 08-Nov-10 15:57:43

Ah, I'm feeling exactly the same way saffy. My mum had to have them with my older brother and then got infected stitches (which I think was the actual problem) but was very uncomfortable for a long time and was slow to bond with my brother as a result. The thought of forceps has always been something that I've been frightened about, it doesn't help that my consultant casually mentioned the other week that her back was sore after having to use them to help deliver a baby - just how hard was she pulling?! Anyway, I was going to speak to my midwife about this at my next appointment and see if I can request no forceps (unless of course baby's life depends on it).

prettybird Mon 08-Nov-10 15:58:42

You won't be forced to have forceps - but to allay your fear, a second birth may well be easier, so stop imagining the worst.

I was the opposite of you - my big fear was of a c-section, so when I was offered the choice of mid cavity forceps or a section, I jumped at the forceps. I even forwent the epidural (my other big fear) in favour of a puddendal block, which I was told "might work, might not, it's a bit hit or miss". I was so tired at that point (hindsight - I was made to push during transition, but when it's your first, you listen to the lazy midwife who just wanted the job done) that I reckoned it would be over sooner rather than later and whatever happened, I'd have the compensation of my newborn baby

As it happened, the block worked, so I was in no pain anyway. I twas given an epdicural and I tore a wee bit, but apart from that I was fine.

nocake Mon 08-Nov-10 16:10:01

saffy, my DW is of exactly the same opinion as you albeit a bit closer (32 weeks). The advice we've been given is to make it very clear when you arrive at the maternity unit that you will not consent to the use of forceps and that you need to know if things are progressing down a route that may end up with a forceps delivery. There will be a point at which it is too late to choose an alternative so they need to tell you before you get to that point.

While I am very unlikely to try and take a member of the medical profession to court they are very aware of the medico-legal implications of not listening to a patient's explicit requests. If you make it very clear they can't claim that they were confused or didn't understand.

lucy101 Mon 08-Nov-10 17:21:59

I second nocake and make it very clear on admission. I have actually had a meeting with my consultant about this (amongst other things) and she was totally supportive and wrote it in my notes herself that I was to go to straight to CS no interventions at all. She is also going to write up some more notes nearer the time and will give my DH a copy to show anyone else. My MW is totally supportive of this as a plan too.

I would write it in your handheld notes yourself so no-one can say they haven't seen it.

saffy85 Mon 08-Nov-10 18:11:16

Thank you everyone. My midwife said there is less chance of intervention second time round. Last time they "threatened" me with forceps, basically saying that as I'd pushed for 3 hours if there was no baby withing next 5 minutes they were taking me dor a forceps/suction delivery. It was the shove I needed: DD was out about 2 minutes later.

All I hear is bad stuff about them, and the actual technique sounds traumatic, painful and dangerous. The thought of someone grabbing a baby round the head with a pair of massive BBQ tongs makes me shudder...

Will write it in my birth plan and make it clear to everyone at the time too.

sarahscot Mon 08-Nov-10 18:16:30

I don't know anything about using forceps. Why are people so set against them? What are the risks to baby and mother? Is an EMCS less risky/damaging?

Marrow Mon 08-Nov-10 18:19:40

I'm the same. Happy for them to try ventouse or to have a section but absolutely refuse to give consent for forceps. Will tell midwife when I arrive and my mum who will be my birthing partner (squeamish DH!) is also aware that I do not want forceps.

japhrimel Mon 08-Nov-10 18:20:28

You may find though that this may get ignored because there are circumstances where forceps (or ventouse) are definitely the best/safest option.

If you have something in your birth plan that doesn't make sense medically, they'll still suggest whatever it is.

eviscerateyourmemory Mon 08-Nov-10 18:23:47

It is your right to decide which medical pocedures you wish to have, and legally this should be respected even if it does put your baby at risk. A decision that you have made shouldnt be ignored, but people should inform you if you are placing the baby at risk.

CheeseandGherkins Mon 08-Nov-10 18:44:47

I don't want to have forceps either and am intending on telling them when I go in too. Seeing as they need your consent to do anything to you then you're well within your rights to refuse. They can say you're wrong or try to scare you into doing what they want but the choice is still yours. They aren't necessarily always right either.

Mahraih Mon 08-Nov-10 18:49:13

I really don't want them either!

It's going in birth plan, I'm telling the midwife, and I will print out a picture to give to DP just in case I'm too out of it to notice what's coming towards me ...

japhrimel Mon 08-Nov-10 18:57:19

Sure you can say you don't want it, but my point was that if it doesn't make medical sense to the professionals, they will still ask & possibly pressure you to have it, even if it's in your birth plan in huge writing.

I think that kind of thing is something it's most important to make clear to your birth partner what you wishes are, so they can stand up for you.

lucybrad Mon 08-Nov-10 18:58:27

I think no one really wants to use them, but sometimes baby needs to come out and it needs to come out NOW! The implications of that dont bear thinking about. Sometimes you gotta trust in what the medics are trying to do. If the baby got stuck, they could save valuable minutes by using the forceps instead of prepping for CS.

lilly13 Mon 08-Nov-10 19:02:20

Saffy, I hear you, I would refuse both forceps and suction and would opt for an elective c-section (paying out of pocket anyway). I witnessed a horror story of a friend's child damaged by forceps at birth, and would not allow these near me...

Panzee Mon 08-Nov-10 19:02:27

Also sometimes the baby is too far down for forceps, they'd have to push him back up, risking further damage.

Panzee Mon 08-Nov-10 19:02:58

Doh! I mean too far down for a section! blush

allyfe Mon 08-Nov-10 19:05:31

DD was forceped. It was an emergency deliver because baby got into trouble. It wouldn't have been my choice but it was better than a section in my view. It did make breast feeding harder to get going, but I think that is the same with sections and we did manage to get it sorted and continued happily for 14 months. Also, just to say a second baby is not always bigger than first but does often come out much more easily (provided it was vaginal delivery the first time).

expatinscotland Mon 08-Nov-10 19:05:44

They are used not entirely infrequently during c-sections, you know.

choufleur Mon 08-Nov-10 19:09:47

Not quite the same but I was scared shitless of having an epidural. So much so that I saw the consultant anaesthetist before I even went into labour to discuss alternative should I need a c-section. It was written in very large capital letters that should I need a section I should be given a GA.

They can't make you do anything you don't want to. Make sure your DH/DP knows what you want too so that he can tell the medical staff should things not go exactly to your plan.

Panzee Mon 08-Nov-10 19:10:45

Oh yes I forgot! I had forceps during my C section. He had a little mark on his face that had gone by the evening. Nothing else.

snowmummy Mon 08-Nov-10 19:12:06

I agree with what japhrimel and lucybrad are saying - I think sometimes they just have to be used. My son was delivered with forceps (ventouse didn't work). He needed to delivered immediately and we were way past the point of a c-section being an option as far as I understand it.

I'll admit, it wasn't a pleasant experience, but he's now a healthy, happy, gorgeous nearly 6 year old. I shudder to think what might have happened had I refused them.

mamatomany Mon 08-Nov-10 19:19:39

ventouse is not without it's problems either if you want to scare yourself silly googling away.
I wonder what research has been done on pushing the baby up for a csection v's foreceps. I would bet none what so ever.
It's a difficult call but I think if you are having a hospital birth you have to trust their judgement.
And don't rely on DH's to tell the medical staff anything they are the worst for "white coat syndrome" when they are asked do you want your wife and child to die then ?

GruffalosGirl Mon 08-Nov-10 20:08:22

I had both keillands and simpsons forceps and had a 3rd degree tear. I still have some slight faecal incontinence and my son was battered and has a scar under his eye from the forceps. I am now pregnant with my second and the registrar has told me the only way they can guarantee they wouldn't use forceps is if I have an elective section. I think they mean to remove the risks for my pelvic floor though as they still use them in sections.

He said to me that if it was life or death even if it was in my notes not to they would use the forceps if they felt they had to to save the baby's life.

However, last time they did mention a section earlier and I said to do anything but a section which is how I ended up with the forceps, so I think they will try to pre-empt it and go straight to a section if it's stressed in your notes, they just won't guarantee it.

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