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epidural and forceps?

I can understand why you don't want to have forceps used... my son (now 18 months old) was born via forceps & epidural. this was after 5 days of very very slow labour, so they don't jump for them at the first opportunity like they used to. ventose should be offered at every hopsital but maybe ask your midwife as she'll be the best person to know what goes on in your hospital.

I did have to have an episiotomy to help the forceps, daniel had a bit of brusing around his eye but was ok. I did lose some blood but not too much. (I did have a few problems with my stiches but that was more due to the fact that I listened to people saying put salt in your bath! which in turn dried out my stitches & made them too tight)

We found out later that the reason for my long labour was becasue of daniel's cerebral palsy so don't think that this is normal! :\) (it wasn't caused by the forceps by the way, he had a stroke about 12 weeks before, very rare)

You also may find that you cope with labour alot better than you think... I am a wuss when it came to pain but coped with 4 days of labour pains before giving into an epidural and that was only because they told me too because I nearly had a c/section. so just try to go with the flow & see how things go.

take care xxx wendy xxxx

[Modified by: wenders on March 25, 2007 02:46 PM]


  • Hi all

    My mother gave birth to me 26 years ago with the aid of forceps. As a result I am severely hearing impaired and have no vision in my left eye.:x

    Naturally, I don't want the use of forceps when I'm giving birth to my first child. Can I insist on no forceps?

    I really want an epidural though, as I hate pain, so I'm worried that if I go for an epidural, I'll have to have forceps.

    I'm not sure about the ventouse option. Do all hospitals offer ventouse? And I've seen pictures of babies immediately after ventouse delivery and it's really off putting. Hearing of your experiences would be very helpful.

    Basically I don't want my baby harmed like I was.

    My mum says if there are difficulties, not to have either forceps or ventouse and just request a caesarean delivery. Can I do this or will they ignore me?:

    I'm all confused. \? Please advise!
  • Hi Kizzib. My mum also had forceps during labour when I was born although luckily I suffered no ill effects. She however ended up having a blood transfusion and tore really badly so like you I want to avoid them at all costs. However, as I understand it, they don't use forceps in the same way as they used to. On my mum they used them to basically pull me right through the pelvis so they were really high up inside her, hence all the damage. They don't do this anymore and only use them once the baby is partway down the birth canal which reduces these sort of problems. They also tend to only go for forceps as a last resort - after they've tried the ventouse which is not as damaging. If you do have complications you should be able to request a cesearean instead of forceps or ventous - put it in your birth plan and make sure your birth partner and the midwife at the hospital know your preference early on in labour and I'm sure they'll respect your wishes. I'm sure you'll be fine though and will sail through it all! xxx
  • I have read alot during my pregnancy and it does seem that by having an epidural you do raise the chance of an assisted delivery by a significant amount.
    I also have discussed my fear of forceps with my midwife who agrees that their use is becoming a lost skill, hence all the injuries. Have you considered alternative pain relief or even hypotherapy. You may find out that you can cope with pain better than you imagined. If it remains an issue with you could you not request an elective section? Don't think they could refuse after all you've been through. Good luck.XX
  • also don't forget the risks involved with having epidurals either i understand that the forceps issue is more personal to you having caused your problems but there are risks with having an epidural i was quite lucky somehow they messed my epidural up and i had back pain afterwards that didn't fade for nearly 5 years but i was lucky because often a mistake like the one they made with me leaves the mother paralysed and although its rare i think people need to be aware it does happen so they can make an informed decision but as a few poeple have said now until you go into labour you don't know how well you will cope and you may find it easier or harder then you expected. good luck and i hope it's an easy one for you....anita xx
  • Hi Kizzib, This must be a really difficult thing for you to decide but I just thought I would let you know my experience. My lo was back to back, this was only discoverd when I had been pushing for an hour. I had had a dimorphine injection about four hours before which had worn off and was using gas and air. The descision was made to try and turn lo with the aid of a ventouse. They had two attempts at this which did not work and then used forceps to deliver her, as she had not descended much at all this counted as a high forceps delivery. She did have some bruising and still has two little scars on her head but otherwise she is fine. My cousin had her baby the next day and ended up in almost exactly the same position, she had a c-section. Personally I would choose the delivery that I had, it was extremely painful but I forgot that as soon as it was over and I did have some stitches that were sore for a while but I recoverd much quicker than my cousin. I agree that forceps deliveries are much safer these days, if a c-section is a better, safer option then this is what the doctors will recomend, but forceps can be a better option. The reason pictures of babies delivered by ventouse are so offputting is simply that their heads are so soft! They usually look normal again after a few days and newborn babies are all a bit squashed looking! At the end of the day it is your choice, and your wishes should be respected. Sorry if I have rambled on but I thought my story might be useful for you. Kerry xx
  • Hiya,
    I had an epidural and no assistance- just a hell of a lot of hard work!
    Just goes to show, it can be done............
    however, in regards to using foreceps, Midwives know a lot more about them these days than they did 26 years ago.

  • Hi

    I was really adamant that I didn't want an epidural as I'm scared of needles etc. But, I was also scared of the pain during labour and thought I wouldn't cope and would probably need an epidural. I used a tens machine in early labour and had a really long bath at hospital for pain relief. Then I used gas and air when labour was established until I was fully dilated. At this point I requested Pethidine as gas and air was not enough for pain of contractions. But, there was no Doctor available to give Pethidine so i didn't get it.

    Once I started pushing they took gas and air away as it distracted me from pushing. I was pushing for about 2 hours without any pain relief. It's amazing how your body takes over and you become very focused. I was really suprised how I got through it as normally I'm not good with pain. But, also I think I was very fortunate that my labour went smoothly.
    I know that each labour can be so different in terms of pain etc.

    The midwife had told me that they would need to do a forcep delivery as I had been pushing for so long, I was exhausted and my baby was distressed. But, then his head crowned and appeared. I think I became ultra determined to push my baby out when midwife mentioned forceps!! But, I wasn't given option of ventouse. I'm glad forceps weren't needed in the end.

    I think in terms of pain be open-minded. It is possible for you to deliver your baby without need of an epidural or forceps. However, during your labour you may decide you need an epidural. I also agree with previous comments that ventouse or forceps may be a better option than a c section. Stay positive and enjoy your labour!

    Adele :lol:
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