The use of forceps to assist vaginal delivery has been the subject of recent media attention. The suggestion has been made that the use of forceps has an unacceptably high risk of injury to maternal tissues, and that their use should be abandoned in favour of Caesarean section.
The Obstetricians at OGB do not accept this view. We all have extensive experience in the use of forceps, both Kjellands forceps as described in the article for correcting abnormal fetal positioning, along with Neville Barnes forceps, which are used if the baby’s position does not need correction but the mother, needs assistance with the birth. We also use the vacuum device to assist birth at various times.
We believe that when forceps are used by appropriately trained and experienced doctors that they are a safe way to assist in the birth of a baby. We also pride ourselves on knowing when the correct time is to suggest a forcep delivery, as well as when to suggest a Caesarean section. The safety of both yourself and your baby is an absolute priority. Our ability to assist with this choice of instrument is part of what makes our practice able to safely care for over 400 mothers and babies every year.
We are all very happy and willing to discuss this further with you - please feel free to bring this up at one of your antenatal visits.
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