Forceps

This weekend, a story came to my attention that left me emotionally devastated.  You can read the story in its entirety here.  The story highlights the birth of baby Olivia, who, following a rather tumultuous attempt at a vaginal delivery, was delivered via forceps.  Because of forceps’ placement and doctor’s skill, or lack thereof, Baby Olivia’s skull and spine were broken, leaving her on life support for 5 days before she passed away.  Reading this story, I can only imagine the horror and anguish that this family feels.  I can only imagine that the mother, whose body must be broken and battered from a botched forceps delivery, and whose daughter is lost to her, now has to cope with both physical and undeniable emotional pain.  I can only imagine how the father, who witnessed the botched delivery, and lost his little one, will live with that emotional anguish.

I can only imagine, and reflect, on my own experience with forceps delivery.  Like the mother in this sad story, c-section was pushed to the back burner.  Olivia’s mother, in fact, asked for a c-section, prior to admittance to the hospital, and was told that “she’d be left with a scar.”  After 3 hours of pushing, I too was told that a c-section would leave me with more physical baggage then a forceps delivery.  I think, too often, that people underestimate the very real dangers of forceps delivery…in part because we are not warned of the horrors of such a delivery.  I have yet to read a story of, “my wonderful forceps delivery.”  I have yet to meet a woman, who delivered via forceps, with a glowing review to such a delivery.

Like Olivia’s parents, I maintain that forceps deliveries should be banned.  My thoughts are, if you get to the point in a vaginal delivery where your body is just not ready/responding, then go for the c-section.  In fact, my thoughts are, if you need any sort of intervention, including induction, you may as well go for the c-section.  Although my thoughts may be unpopular, they are rooted in my own experiences, and in the experiences that I hear about from others who struggle on a daily basis with birth trauma.

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

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3 Comments »

  1. Becs Said:

    Forceps need to be used properly and by someone with adequate skill. Doctors often go by the “see one, do one, teach one” philosophy. This cannot and should not happen with forceps.

    I believe there is a place for forceps in obstetrics – but only in the hands’ of physicians who are skilled in this practice. I also believe that women should be informed about the risks/benefits of forceps and the decision should rest in their hands.

    • peace4lauren Said:

      Becs- While I agree with you that forceps could possibly be used by someone with adequate skill, I feel that there are other valid options at the time that they would be needed, namely, c-section. The place where forceps could be needed in obstetrics are in areas where these other options are not available.

  2. maria Said:

    Women who request c-sections are refused, their choice is not respected. It is vital to allow women to make informed choices and allow them to choose c-sections, if this is the route they decide to follow. To support the right to choose, please sign the petition: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/prophylactic-cesarean-delivery/signatures.html


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