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What are the dangers associated with forceps during delivery?

Many women who have vaginal births go through the process without having any issues. For other women, problems might occur that lead the attending doctor to use forceps during the delivery process. While this can be a very useful tool that can help mothers to safely deliver a baby, it is also associated with certain risks.

Why would I need forceps to assist in my baby's birth?

Forceps are often used if you haven't delivered the baby despite prolonged pushing. This can be because you have tired out, because of the presentation of the baby or because the baby is showing signs of stress. It is vital that a medical professional only use forceps if the baby is far enough down the birth canal. The doctor must check the location of the baby's head and face to determine if forceps use is appropriate.

What risks are associated with forceps use during delivery?

Babies who are delivered with the help of forceps might suffer from bruising to the face or head. These usually aren't serious and will heal quickly. The baby might be cut by forceps, suffer from nerve damage or have bleeding inside the head. These are more serious injuries that require prompt medical care to assess the injury and determine a treatment plan. In some cases, the mother suffers from perineal tears and problems with urination or defecation after delivery.

If you delivered a baby with the help of forceps and the baby suffered from a birth injury or you suffered an injury, you might choose to seek compensation. Understanding the process for medical malpractice claims in Pennsylvania might help you to feel more in control of your case.

Source: MedLine Plus, "Assisted delivery with forceps," accessed Sep. 16, 2015

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