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Terrible fear of the use of forceps

(25 Posts)
ladymia Sun 20-Jan-13 17:37:38


This will be my first, I am 32wks and being kept awake at night nearly thinking of this irrational forceps fear!

I am starting to think of my birth plan now and have to discuss this with my MW in 2 weeks. What can I do to avoid the use of forceps, is there a way? How do I put this in my birth plan?

Sorry if this sound a bit crazy smile

DoItToJulia Sun 20-Jan-13 17:45:47

Ah, it's horrible when stuff like this keeps you awake.

I don't thinks its irrational, I don't think that forceps deliveries are much fun. However, I think that there is obviously a place for forceps deliveries and if that what it takes to deliver our baby safely, then I reckon you would do it without a second thought.

I didn't want keillands forceps used in my delivery and I put that in my birth plan. I said I would have a cs rather than those.

Can you talk it though with your community MW? She may be able to reassure you?

Good luck, hoping you get your forceps free birth!

SuffolkNWhat Sun 20-Jan-13 18:06:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DoItToJulia Sun 20-Jan-13 18:07:51

Our?? Your!

ladymia Sun 20-Jan-13 18:11:02

Thanks, yes will definitely be discussing this with my MW when I next see her.

Of course if that's what needs to happen then I will just do it but have been looking into ways to prevent it from happening.

I think, as much as I do not want a CS, I would prefer that option to the forceps too.

JoJoCK Sun 20-Jan-13 18:16:53

Me too op, and I'm 39 weeks today. I had a good discussion with the community midwife at my last appointment and she clarified the situations when they would recommend the use of forceps. I wrote in my birth plan that I don't want a forceps delivery unless the baby's life is at risk. I've found that as my due date has approached I've become more relaxed about the birth and more worried about looking after a newborn but that is just me!

missmapp Sun 20-Jan-13 18:20:11

I had this fear, then they had to be used ( failed ventouse) and , do you know what, it was fine. I was so desperate for ds to be born and safe, that I don't even remember being worried.
The thing is, when you are at home and worried, everything is crystal clear in your mind, but when you are actually in labour and may need these things, you are so focused on other things, those worries seem to go out of the window.

zeldapinwheel Sun 20-Jan-13 18:26:43

I specifically said I did not want forceps and would rather have a c-section.

When I got to the point in labour where it was decided forceps were needed I stated that I would rather have a c-section and basically got told not to be so silly, they wouldn't get a full surgical team in if baby could be delivered with forceps!

Thankfully everything was ok. I'm pregnant again and this time I've been insisting on a c-section since my 1st antenatal appointment.

Creamtea1 Sun 20-Jan-13 20:19:39

I had forceps with first as baby's life was indeed at risk, and it was horrific - but not as horrific as the room filling with people shouting 'we have to get the baby out NOW' and then silence of what felt like hours when he did come out...
But even so I would do it all again if the situation needed it.

emblosion Sun 20-Jan-13 23:07:51

OP I totally understand how you feel, I was exactly the same in my first pregnancy - utter horror of forceps & made clear I would rather have a cs.

But, when it came to it ds was stuck in the birth canal & I needed keillands forceps to deliver (a cs would have involved pushing him back up through the cervix - much more risk of trauma). I had a spinal block in theatre and didn't feel a thing.

I had a v painful dry, back labour & can honestly say the forceps was the least traumatic part of it. It really was fine, and a couple of minutes from start to finish. I had an episiotomy that healed v well & no long term issues (ds is 7 months).

Healing from forceps/episiotomy is usually more straightforward than from an emcs. At the time, all I cared about was getting ds out because I knew he was in distress. If it gets to the point where instrumental delivery is needed you are heading into emergency territory & they will do what they need to to get baby out. Although I suppose if you had specifically said no forceps & weren't progressing they'd have to think about prepping for a section at an earlier stage? Not sure how that works.

Have you spoken to your midwife about it? Might make you feel better to talk it through, go over the pain relief etc?

Also, remember you might be fine & not need any intervention. My friend had a lovely waterbirth with her first - not a stitch in sight or even a graze!

Rhubarb78 Mon 21-Jan-13 07:05:54

Op, I will echo what a lot of the others have said. I was terrified at the thought of forceps and thought I would rather a section. As it happened, the baby was in distress with his heart rate dropping dangerously low, I honestly didn't care what they did as long as he was safe. I had an episiotomy and forceps delivery and it wasn't ideal but it was fine, plus my recovery was significantly quicker than that of my sister who had a section a week before me

lyndie Mon 21-Jan-13 07:11:17

I'm sorry you're feeling worried. As others have said there are certain situations when forceps are the only option - to do a section would take longer or when the head is that low would be dangerous too as you may have to push the baby back up the birth canal. Talk to your midwife though, she will reassure you. They only get the forceps out when they are really needed.

Flisspaps Mon 21-Jan-13 07:13:36

It is terrifying to think of forceps being put 'up there' until you've actually been in that position, I do understand.

Both of mine were born with forceps assistance. With DD I had a nasty tear where the episiotomy extended. She was a bit battered looking, with bruising, and a black/bloodshot eye.

With DS (second baby) I was adamant that I did not want forceps again, I wanted a CS if it got to that point. It did get to that point. I was still adamant I didn't want them. The Dr didn't look happy but they began to prep for CS (the MW thought DS was transverse, so forceps wouldn't have been any bloody use if he was).

I spoke to DH, and agreed to ONE go with forceps and straight to CS if that didn't work. The Dr and MWs agreed that was a good idea.

I had a spinal put in (in case of the CS). Then in theatre DS's heart rate dropped to about 60bpm. The forceps worked. it was fine. I didn't tear again, and DS was fine. He did suffer some mild palsy to his face, but that was healed within four weeks.

If you really don't want them, that's fine. But be aware that there may not be time to go for CS on the day if baby is suddenly distressed. You can end up with physical issues whether you have a CS or forceps.

Bibs123 Mon 21-Jan-13 08:10:13

i had forceps. by that point i just wanted my baby out and was pretty out of it. i had a spinal so felt nothing at the time. the worst bit was the stitches healing over the following couple of weeks.

PenelopeLane Mon 21-Jan-13 08:22:07

I thought about saying no forceps in my plan and SO glad I didn't - they were needed when DS's heart rate dropped as he needed to be out quickly,and prep for a CS would have taken too long. It was fine. And I was up and about weeks before I would have been had I had a CS.

gail734 Mon 21-Jan-13 08:35:26

I had Keillands forceps with dd six months ago and it was no bother at all. I count myself so lucky to live in an age when these amazing advances are available to us. I had a small episiotomy but again, very little discomfort, healed up quickly. The baby had a tiny bruise on each cheek. I was home two days later, lifting the baby, driving to the supermarket - a CS takes weeks to recover from and scars you for life! We all have our hang-ups and fears, but for heaven's sake, trust the experts. They deliver babies every day!

Kveta Mon 21-Jan-13 08:40:45

Flisspaps you are the only other person I know who's had 2 forceps deliveries!

I said 'no forceps' for my second delivery, after having them for my first. Ended up with kiellands forceps though. I think if I were to have a 3rd, I'd be demanding an elcs, but in all honesty, I'd take forceps again if they were needed - my recovery 2nd time round was really fast, DD was totally unharmed, and although I do have a few lingering problems (possibly from forceps, possibly from former sexual assault), I could have had just as bad or worse with an emcs. I think the 72hr labour before DS was delivered, then him not sleeping for a long time contributed more to the long recovery period than the use of forceps IYSWIM?

AliceWChild Mon 21-Jan-13 08:52:57

Things you can do to avoid forceps...

Have you heard of cascade of interventions? Avoid getting in that cascade.

Have a doula.

My birth had much more intervention than I planned for various reasons. Having a doula meant she helped me avoid some things happening I really didn't want. She could suggest alternatives that took me down different paths.

Different hospitals have different rates of things too. Where I was much more ventouse than forceps. The people doing it prefer ventouse. I ended up with ventouse. So look up the rates for your local hospital and choose accordingly.

Good luck with it all. It's ok to have preferences and act on them. And ok to be pissed off after the event if you don't get what you hoped. I am. Doesn't mean I love my baby any less.

lurcherlover Mon 21-Jan-13 10:17:59

Remember that in a lot of cases, by the time a forceps delivery is indicated, it is too late for a cs anyway, so it's not always an automatic either/or decision. As others have said, sitting here in the cold light of day the thought of forceps is horrible, but in the throes of labour your perspective is very different. I had a traumatic delivery with ds as he presented with shoulder dystocia, and looking back on it now I'm retrospectively terrified - but at the time I wasn't scared at all, I was just prepared to do whatever it took to get him out. Your brain goes into quite a primitive state during labour so you don't particularly "think", you just get on with it really. It's a survival mechanism I think.

Rainbowbabyhope Mon 21-Jan-13 10:20:36

OP totally understand the fear. I think the best thing you can do is educate yourself about the options and arm yourself with the information so that if it come to having to make a choice you forceps you (and your DP) are well informed and can feel confident no matter what you decide.

My personal choice is that forceps are to be last resort only if medically critical - and only low forceps not kiellands forceps. Useful to note that kiellands forceps are banned in many countries around the world and if you do some reading around you can see why so personally I will not allow them to be used on me and LO.

Also agree with Alice about cascade of intervention - educate yourself on natural childbirth too to see what you can do to maximise your chances of this. WHO suggests that the worldwide statistic for a natural intervention free birth should be 90 % - obviously we are far away from achieving that in this country (given that c-section rates are 25% alone!) however it means that an intervention free birth is actually very achievable for many of us which is great news. Knowing things like the fact that giving birth on your back decreases the pelvic space by 25%, practicing good labouring positions, massage techniques etc might be all you need to even avoid ever having to be in the situation where forceps are even required.

Having said that we are lucky to live in an age where medical intervention is available where it is really required and can be life saving. My DD1 was stillborn, so with my current LO who is due in March, I am not ruling much out by way of possible intervention if it means I can hold her alive and well in my arms at the end.

mum23girlys Mon 21-Jan-13 10:49:19

Hi, please don't get worked up over it. Discuss things with your midwife but when the time comes instinct Will take over from fear and nerves and you will just want baby out safely.

I've had forceps delivery with all 3 of my girls. Dd3 was a bit of a last minute panic birth as they had prepped me for a section but there are only 2 our maternity hospital and 1 was being used and there was broken equipment in the other. Baby couldn't wait as her heartrate had dropped. I was so relieved to have forceps and was up and about within hours.

OneLittleToddlingTerror Mon 21-Jan-13 11:03:45

My doctor friend told me that they have to use forceps if the baby needs rotation. A ventouse is for when they only need to pull. It makes sense if you think of it. Basically the doctors won't use forceps unless they can't use a ventouse. And to do a c-section when the baby's head can already be forceped or ventoused out means pushing a baby back up the birth canal. This is a very bad idea. I had a ventouse birth and I was worried the baby will be stuck in the canal. I just wanted her to come out safely. Don't over think it. But do talk to the midwife about your concerns. I didn't have any problem with the recovery from episiotomy btw. I have no problem sitting or peeing from day 1. It really is nothing.

ladymia Mon 21-Jan-13 19:02:49

Thanks everyone your replies have been very helpful! Also I do think if I was told it was an emergency situation I would probably not have a problem wit the forceps.

I am really more concerned about how the forceps will affect my baby than me so this is the reason for my fear mostly.

I will definitely speak to my midwife about this next week when I see her.

Thank you all for the replies.

LovesBeingWokenEveryNight Mon 21-Jan-13 19:07:25

Ok I had this too and to be honest once the doc mentioned they might be needed with dd it scared the crap out of me and I swear that is way I ended up with a bad two way 2nd degree tear.

When pregnant with ds I told one mw all I wanted on my birth plan was no forceps written in capitals letters across the whole page, she told me to go ahead grin

From reading on here I know that if it happens to you it doesn't have to be the end of the world. That lots of women have no problems and neither do their dc. For me though I think it's the same as a man seeing another kicked between the legs.

isadorable Tue 22-Jan-13 09:49:32

Just to add that I really didnt want forceps either but when they told me the baby was stuck and they could use them to turn her, I just wanted her here with us as quickly as possible so I said yes. I did refuse an episiotomy though. I'd already had an epidural but still felt something (not pain as such, a bizarre stretching sensation) and for two seconds found myself thinking 'Oh @w%§, what have I done?' Anyway, the doctor turned her and then asked me to push and she was born first push. She had one or two tiny marks on her head which disappeared practically overnight. I'd do it again rather than have a CS at that stage.

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