Forceps Forced Delivery
Forceps look like large sugar tongs and are designed so that they will fit snugly over the sides of the baby’s head, covering the ears. They are rather like a cage and protect the head from any pressure within the birth canal.
The decision to use forceps is a medical one. Forceps are only applied when the first stage is complete, the cervix is fully dilated and the head is in the birth canal
Why it is done
Forceps are used when the baby`s head has descended into the mothers pelvis but fails to descend further; when the baby is presenting in a posterior position; in a breech delivery (see opposite); when the uterus fails to maintain contractions; and when the mother lacks the strength to push out her baby. Nowadays, nearly all premature babies are delivered by forceps to protect their delicate skulls from being compressed in the birth canal.
How it is done
You will be asked to lie on your back and your legs will be put up in stirrups. A local anaesthetic will be injected into your perineum, and an episiotomy performed. Then the forceps will be inserted into your vagina one at a time. A few gentle pulls on the forceps, 30-40 seconds at a time, will bring your baby`s head out. The rest of his body will be delivered as usual
The pain from an episiotomy wound gets worse before it gets better. The wound is positioned where fluid can accumulate in the cut edges. These then swell, with the result that the stitches become tighter and bite into the sore skin around the wound
if you are bruised or if the stitches are really painful, it will help to sit on an inflatable rubber ring (some hospitals have these). Good hygiene is vitally important while the wound is healing, so make sure that it is kept clean. Most stitches will dissolve after five or six days.
Warm baths and showers are soothing and encourage the healing process, as do pelvic floor exercises. You may also find that ice packs or local anaesthetic creams are helpful There are special perineal pads that fit between your sanitary towel and the wound. Your doctor or midwife will advise you about these.
Don’t use antiseptics or perfumed bubble liquid in your bath water because they can cause irritation. After bathing if you can, dry the area with a hairdryer instead of a towel, which can be painful.
Urine, which is strongly acid, will make the raw skin sting Standing up to urinate may help. You could also try pouring warm water over yourself as you’re urinating to dilute the acid and reduce the sting.