Labor and delivery aren’t always easy, and things don’t always go as expected. When a mother has a particularly difficult time with delivery, doctors sometimes resort to “assisted birth” through the use of forceps.
While forceps are generally safe to use during birth (and are among the oldest methods of assisted delivery), there are some risks to their use. These risks are minimized when the doctor is experienced in using them.
What are the risks of using forceps during delivery?
The mother and the baby can both suffer injuries during delivery through the use of forceps when a doctor’s skill with the tool is questionable. These injuries include:
- Facial injuries for the baby, including facial muscle weakness
- External eye trauma for the baby
- Skull fractures and bleeding for the baby
- Uterine rupture for the mother
- Bladder and urethra injuries for the mother
- Tears in the lower genital tract for the mother
- Weakened pelvic ligaments and muscles for the mother
Some of these injuries will heal on their own over time, but the doctors on your care team should closely monitor you or your baby during the healing process. Be sure to report signs of trouble, such as running a fever or progressively worse pain, to your doctor.
What should you do if a birth injury left you or your baby with lasting problems?
If you or your baby suffer from injuries due to the negligence of the doctor, you may opt to pursue a medical malpractice claim. Working with an attorney who’s familiar with this area of the law is beneficial since they can explain your options and handle the legal side of things for you while you recover.