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Forceps & ventouse - good or bad?

(16 Posts)
becksworth Fri 10-Jul-09 12:40:56

I'm 17 weeks pg with DC1. I had a minor heart defect as a child (operated on and now I'm fine or so I thought).

Anyway, the doc says I should have a short second stage during labour as he doesn't want me to push for too long (due to possible strain on my heart). Anything that makes labour shorter sounds fine to me smile, but then he started mentioning scary things like ventouse and forceps in order to speed up the second stage.

I don't know much about ventouse and forceps, but someone told me they're quite outdated things to use (particularly forceps) and can result in damage to baby and you.

Anyone experienced either method during labour? What are your thoughts?

CMOTdibbler Fri 10-Jul-09 12:43:13

I think I'd ask for another opinion personally. If you haven't had any restrictions on activity since your operation, then why would you need an augmented labour ?

weegiemum Fri 10-Jul-09 12:46:04

I had ventouse for delivery of my dd1 (1st child) as she was a bit stuck.

I think anything that helps is good if in the hands of someone who knows what they are doing. I didn't even feel the thing and didn't have to have an episiotomy, though I did tear (but then, she was almost 10lb).

My SIL had a ventouse to pull her baby down the birth canal, but not for the actual delivery.

I don't recall hearing of ventouse causing injury, though it did give dd1 a comedy elf head for a couple of days. Forceps I think need a lot more skill.

All the best - hope it goes well for you. Sounds like the doc has you and baby's best interests right up there, which is great!

Lizzylou Fri 10-Jul-09 12:47:00

Both my boys were ventouse deliveries, no problems at all.

Got them out safe and sound.

EccentricaGallumbits Fri 10-Jul-09 12:49:30

make sure you read lots about optimum positions in labour, staying upright, squatting, kneeling, moving aound, rather than simply opting for interventions.

if it looked like you would be pushing for ages in the second stage you may then need a bit of help from ventouse.

Dophus Fri 10-Jul-09 12:50:35

DS2 was forceps - it was that or a CS. He had a dome head and I head a huge episiostomy

Other than that we we were fine!

expatinscotland Fri 10-Jul-09 12:51:39

I've had both.

I had a forceps delivery with DD1 because she was face up and had her hand up cupping her head above her ear.

I was fortunate in that I had a very senior consultant to perform the procedure and can remember her remarking, 'Oh, wee one, your handy shouldn't be up there!'

I'd had an epidural hours before as the pain was terrible but it had been topped up before she started her work so I didn't feel anything and never had any problems despite all the stitches.

Had a ventouse with my third, DS, to get him down the birth canal, then he started to sort of birth himself.

But he wasn't descending well and turns out he was over 2lbs. heavier than my former heaviest and he had cord wrapped round his neck.

I tore but didn't have an episiotomy.

Again, no probs at all long-term for me or babies.

Lulumama Fri 10-Jul-09 12:51:56

i think ventouse is preferred method of instrumental delivery, but only if the baby is low enough down. otherwise forceps might be used.

you might also have to have an episiotomy for an instrumental delivery

i would do what you can to ensure your labour is not prolonged.. i/e try to avoid immobility, stay upright and active if you can, use a birth ball or birth pool rather than lying /sitting on a bed. try to avoid an epidural, as that can prolong labour and make it harder to push effectively. gravity can be helpful ! standing/supported squat or all fours can be better for the second stage. avoid anything that will stop your pelvis opening up as fully as it can.. so not lying on your back

a ventouse or forceps delivery carried out by an experienced doctor should not carry to much extra risk. but there are some risks.

have you spoken to a cardiologist re your heart issue? is it definitely still an issue? i supported someone in labour who had a heart issue. - wolf parkinson white? syndrome. she delviered at home too, although it was her 3rd baby .

becksworth Fri 10-Jul-09 13:09:56

Thanks for the advice!

I'm baffled as the cardiologist has given me the all clear (I had a patent ductus arteriosis aka a 'hole in the heart). Am perfectly fit and healthy (if you discount the pregnancy cake allowance) - ran a half marathon last year.

Also confused as my doc has advised epidural along with ventouse/forceps as a way of speeding up second stage. But from what lulumama was saying, it seems that epidurals can slow things down. I'm completely new to all this, so just sat there in the consulting room nodding like a fool smile.

I think a second opinion is the way to go.

Lulumama Fri 10-Jul-09 13:35:45

your cardioloogist is more likely to know how your heart will tolerate labour, isn;t he?

labour is hard work, but you are built to cope and if you ran a half marathon recently, you are clearly fit and active and your heart cna cope with exertion

second and third opinion might well be adviseable!

also, bear in mind you cna be advised what to do, but you can make an informed decision to accept or reject any of that advice.

YanknCock Fri 10-Jul-09 13:54:07

Just went to the NHS antenatal classes this week, and we were shown the ventouse. Apparently they used to be a big silicone suction cup which left a lot of bruising, but now they have more modern ones which don't bruise as much and are more gentle on the baby's head. This might vary by hospital, could you ask about what type your hospital has?

She didn't show us the forceps, thank goodness, but there are different types of forceps too. They tried to deliver DH's niece with forceps, but she was too stuck so they had to do an ECS. She has a scar on her forehead from the foreceps (8 months now), but is otherwise very happy and healthy. We asked the NHS midwife about that and she said it was quite unusual.

missmapp Fri 10-Jul-09 13:58:52

I had a ventouse with ds1, that failed so they used forceps, which led to a safe delivery - it was fine, he looked like hed gone ten rounds with mike tyson, but bruising and swelling soon went down, i was ok, bit bruised for a couple of weeks, but I am glad i didnt have to have a csection as at least I was mobile from day one ( if a bit slow!!)

HensMum Fri 10-Jul-09 14:07:48

I had a ventouse as DS was in distress and I wasn't allowed to push for too long. I had to have an episotomy, so they gave me a spinal block. I still had to push but it was very weird as I couldn't feel a thing from my waist down. Actually, that was the worst bit - I didn't feel DS being born sad.

But my stitches healed really well and there was no damage to DS. He didn't even have a bump on his head.

So, in all, it wasn't too bad but probably not something I'd want to do again.

CMOTdibbler Fri 10-Jul-09 14:18:44

I'd def be asking for a cardiology opinion then - my friend had a hole in the heart, has a slightly abnormal ECG (left bundle branch block), and she has just had twins with no problems or augmentation. And she wasn't as fit as you !

cat64 Fri 10-Jul-09 14:34:31

Message withdrawn

mogend77 Fri 10-Jul-09 17:23:51

I can't believe this dr was talking to you like this! He is so wide of the mark. Quite apart from the fact that you ran a halfmarathon last year so it and you actually sound rather fit and healthy, all the interventions he is already (at 17weeks!) jumping to the conclusion that you are going to need are all things that are more likely to put you under unnecessary strain! And no intervention is without risk - I speak as one who accepted them last time but really should not have.

The least strain on your body will be the most natural birth possible and there is no reason in the world to think that someone as fit as you could not handle that. Why are you seeing a dr in the first place? Is there any reason why you are not under midwife care only?

I would certainly certainly ask for a second opinion from someone who is used to dealing with normal births. He is jumping to conclusions ridiculously early.

A dr who started talking to me like that - jumping to conclusions & ignoring the reality of my situation - would very soon find he was no longer my doctor.

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