A woman in labor in an Oregon hospital entrusts her health and safety, as well as her that of her child, to a medical team. These teams are trained to recognize and resolve certain high-risk situations that may occur during childbirth. In some cases, an obstetrician might decide to use forceps as the infant moves through the birth canal. There are numerous risks involved in the procedure. Many families have suffered trauma due to birth injuries involving forceps.
Forceps are not used in every birth. In fact, using forceps is not a common medical practice, although there have been cases where obstetricians have used this tool to avoid having to do a delivery by cesarean section. An obstetrician can discuss such issues ahead of time with a woman who is preparing for childbirth so that she is aware of possible issues that might compel a decision to use forceps.
Obstetricians use forceps when labor has stalled
One of the most frequent issues that might prompt use of forceps during childbirth is a stalled labor. If a woman has entered the transition phase of delivery but pushing is not moving her baby through the birth canal, the attending obstetrician might decide to use forceps to help guide the infant through the canal. The typical obstetrician knows that a baby must be at least halfway through the birth canal before using forceps.
If a woman has not fully dilated or an infant is more than six weeks premature, it is not safe to use forceps. Other contraindications to the use of this tool include the arms of an infant preceding the head in the birth canal, as well as an infant that is too large for a vaginal birth. If medical negligence occurs that results in birth injuries, a parent may seek accountability in court, against those deemed responsible.