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What you need to know about the use of forceps during delivery

Doctors in Washington have to be prepared for every eventuality in the delivery room, and you should be able to trust that yours will make the right decision if something out of the ordinary arises. One of the tools that may be needed during delivery is the forceps, and when used correctly and in the right circumstances, it can prevent serious medical issues. At Elk & Elk, we understand that medical devices such as these have the potential for harm, as well as benefit.

Your doctor may recommend forceps for a number of reasons. The Mayo Clinic explains that if your labor has stalled, you may need the assistance to move your baby through the birth canal. This is particularly true if you have a heart condition or other medical issue that could be affected by prolonged pushing. A forceps delivery could also be critical if your baby’s heartbeat changes, and your doctor worries that continued labor could delay the care needed to address the problem. Forceps are often used when an infant is facing up in the birth canal instead of down, too.

A forceps delivery may be dangerous in some situations, though, such as a situation where the doctor does not know the position of your baby’s head, or the head has not moved far enough into the birth canal. If your pelvis is too small for the baby to move through or the shoulders or arms are coming through the canal first, forceps could harm you or your baby. Forceps could also cause birth injuries if your baby has certain medical conditions, such as hemophilia or a bone disorder. In cases such as these, a C-section may be a safer option.

To learn more about potential medical mistakes during delivery, please contact a Seattle birth injury lawyer.