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What Are the Risks Associated with a Forceps Delivery?

August 29th, 2017
On behalf of David Bowling of The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm, A Professional Law Corporation posted in Birth Injuries on Tuesday, August 29, 2017.

It is natural for both pregnant women and their partners to have concerns about labor and delivery. You may have even started worrying about giving birth from the moment you learned you were pregnant.


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Will you be able to handle the pain and discomfort of every contraction? What if you are in labor for hours–or even days–and your baby is in distress?

Although modern medicine has eliminated some of the more serious dangers associated with labor and delivery, there is always the chance that complications could arise. Unfortunately, no matter how comprehensive your birth plan is, there is no way to guarantee everything will go smoothly.

If you’ve researched various approaches to labor and delivery when devising your birth plan, you probably came across the mention of forceps. Forceps essentially look like large metal tongs, and doctors use them to facilitate the baby’s progression through the birth canal.

The use of forceps is necessary in some cases, but assisted vaginal delivery can pose serious risks to both mom and baby. If you or your infant sustained injuries during labor and delivery and you think the negligent use of forceps is to blame, contact The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm

David A. Bowling will assess your case to determine if you may be entitled to compensation. Call (504) 586-5200 to schedule a case evaluation with a Baton Rouge birth injury lawyer.

What Are the Risks Associated with a Forceps Delivery?

Forceps-assisted deliveries pose many of the same risks as vaginal deliveries in general; however, the use of forceps can increase the chances of certain issues arising. According to the Mayo Clinic, the potential complications that forceps pose to mothers include:

Perineum pain after delivery;

Tears and wounds in the lower genital tract;

Difficulty emptying the bladder;

Urinary or fecal incontinence;


Bladder or urethra injuries;

Tears in the uterine wall; and

Pelvic organ prolapse.

Forceps-assisted deliveries also pose serious risks to babies. In fact, according to a recent study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, researchers found that forceps and vacuum deliveries had higher rates of infant trauma than cesarean deliveries. The potential complications and risks that forceps pose to infants include:

Facial palsy;

Skull fractures;

Bleeding inside the skull; and


Doctors might recommend the use of forceps if the mom is tired from pushing, the baby needs guidance through the birth canal, a medical problem increases the risks of pushing, or the baby is in distress and he or she needs to come out faster than the mom can push. Most women do not need forceps during delivery, but those who do face serious risks if their healthcare providers are not careful.

If you or your baby sustained injuries during a forceps-assisted delivery and you want to pursue compensation for the damages you incurred, contact The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm for quality legal representation during every step of the proceedings. David A. Bowling has more than 30 years of trial experience.

Call (504) 586-5200 to schedule a consultation with a medical malpractice attorney in Baton Rouge. You can learn more about birth injury claims in Louisiana by visiting the USAttorneys website

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