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Forceps May Increase Risk of Birth Injury

The Law Firm of Michael H. Bereston, Inc.

Is Forceps Delivery Safe?

A hotly debated topic in the last few years is whether using forceps to deliver a baby is a safe option or whether it increases the risk of birth injury. Although the use of this device has significantly declined in the United States over the last 20 years, worldwide statistics show that injuries from forceps may be occurring at higher rates. One study conducted in Canada even found that over a ten-year period, there was a greater risk in obstetric trauma from forceps.

While forceps are generally considered safe for use during labor and delivery, there are still risks of injuries for both the mother and baby.

What Injuries are Common with Forceps?

Forceps delivery can be complicated, and you may run the risk of long-term damage to your child if forceps are placed and used incorrectly. In terms of injuries that can occur, the baby may experience:

  • Facial injuries, including eye trauma and facial palsy
  • Skull fractures
  • Nerve injuries to the head and neck
  • Bleeding or hemorrhages in the brain
  • Seizures

Marks on the face are also quite common when delivered by forceps and should go away on their own.

Injuries to the Mother

Mothers may also experience trauma when forceps are used during delivery, although every delivery runs the risk of injury regardless of the tools used. In a forceps delivery, the mother may experience:

  • Difficulty urinating or incontinence
  • Injuries to the bladder, urethra, or uterus
  • Tearing
  • Weakened pelvic muscles and ligaments

The use of forceps is not guaranteed to cause harm to either the mother or baby, but your doctor should let you know the risks involved before using them during delivery. Remember, you always have alternative options, like a cesarean section, that can be used in the birthing process.

Maryland Birth Injury Attorney

You and your child deserve to live happy and healthy lives, but unfortunately, medical professionals or doctors that act negligently may cause long-term damage during the delivery process. The Law Firm of Michael H. Bereston, Inc. has been dedicated to protecting families affected by birth injuries for years and are prepared to take on your case.

To discuss your legal options with a member of our team, call (410) 220-6581 or fill out this short form to schedule a free, confidential consultation.


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Mother kissing her baby's feet