Sunday, 5 February 2017

Forceps Delivery

Forceps is an important, safe, useful instruments which is usually prophylactic to delivery when the head gets stuck in the birth canal during difficult delivery.

This has to be used by experienced hands to prevent damage to the fetal skull and brain tissue.

Another useful indication is to prevent the mother from straining (attempt to push the head of the baby at the crucial point of delivery) especially when she is suffering from debilitating diseased involving the heart and / or lungs.

Forceps' is a stainless steel instrument consisting of a blade and handle. It does not damage the fetal head when applied in the correct manner.

Difficulty in delivery of the head can occur due to the following reasons:

1. When the mother is exhausted due to prolonged labour when she does not have energy to push the baby out at the crucial time of delivery.

2. When the pelvic floor is very strong and does not give enough place to the baby's head to be pushed out.

3. When the child is little bigger in size for the pelvis and therefore gets stuck at the outlet.

4. Malrotation of the head.

5. Male type of pelvis. (Android Pelvis)

In the above situations forceps is invaluable for the easy delivery of the baby.

Forceps should be applied only by a skilled obstetrician and there are some basic conditions to be followed.

Vacuum delivery is yet another means of delivery which is considered when the head is stuck near the outlet and can be done with 4/5 inches dilation of the cervix. The vacuum build up should be gradual should be done in steps. Rapid build up is dangerous as it may cause haemorrhage in the brain of the child.


1. Injury to the baby's head.

2. Injury to the maternal tissue.

3. Profuse bleeding.

It is always better to apply forceps under local or general anaesthesia. It is more sensible nowadays to anticipate and decide the mode of delivery than to end up in traumatic delivery and damage the mother and the baby. Whenever a difficult delivery is anticipated it is better to do a safe Caesarean section than to meet with surprises.

Forceps Delivery

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