If your child has suffered a birth injury and forceps were used during the delivery process, it is fair for you as parents to ask whether the use of forceps was the cause of your child’s birth injury. According to Mayo Clinic, forceps are essentially tongs. One tong goes around the baby’s head and the other goes around the mother’s uterus.
When the uterus is not contracting at a level that can deliver the child on its own, some sort of mechanical devices are often used to assist in delivering the child. Forceps have been used now for 500 years, and there has not been a lot of change in them, but they are still a very important weapon in the obstetrician’s arsenal to deliver a child when there is a complication. The problem with forceps is that they are often misused. When they are misused, they can lead to birth injuries.
The other mechanical device that is used is a vacuum, and a vacuum is a suction on the child’s head that facilitates the delivery process. So while the mother is contracting, the obstetrician is using the vacuum and pulling on the baby’s head. The difference between the forceps and the vacuum is the vacuum is very easy for the obstetrician to use. You put on the baby’s head and you suction the baby out of the birth canal. In contrast, the forceps are a very skilled instrument for an obstetrician, which means they need to have high skill in using the forceps to be able to use them effectively and safely. And if they can not do that, that is where the real problems arise.