Childbirth with forceps can be one way to help the birth process. Various things can hinder the birth process of a baby, even though the mother has been pushing for hours during labor.
Forceps is a device used to help expel a baby during labor. The shape resembles a pair of large spoons. Forceps will clamp the baby’s head which is still in the womb. The doctor will then guide until removed from the mother’s womb. This is usually done during the contraction process, while the mother pushes.
How it Works Forceps
Before using forceps, doctors will usually try other ways for successful labor, such as giving intravenous drugs to stimulate stronger contractions or giving anesthesia (anesthesia) to facilitate the process of pushing.
However, if the best option is to give birth by forceps, the doctor will provide epidural or spinal anesthesia if you have not been given regional anesthesia. The medical team will also place a catheter in your bladder to empty the urine. The doctor may also do an episiotomy, which is cutting the vaginal and anal parts to make it easier for the baby to come out.
When is Forceps Required?
There are several conditions that make doctors choose the act of giving birth with forceps. However this assistance should only be done when you are giving birth in a hospital or in a midwifery that allows a cesarean section, in anticipation if the forceps fail.
Your doctor will generally recommend giving birth with forceps if you experience the condition:
- The baby’s head is in the wrong position. Here a forceps may be needed to turn the baby’s head facing
- Your cervix has widened and the baby’s head position is already on the way out of birth, but you are not able to push it out.
- You have been pushing, but labor has not progressed. If you have never given birth before, labor is considered stagnant when you have been pushing for two to three hours (one to two hours if you have already given birth) but there is no progress.
- You have health problems such as narrowing of the aortic valve of the heart, so doctors limit you from straining.
- There is a disturbance in your baby’s heartbeat.
Meanwhile, some conditions that doctors will not advise to give birth with forceps if:
- The position of your baby’s head is unknown.
- The baby’s shoulders or arms cover the birth canal
- Your baby has a condition that affects the strength of his bones
- Your baby cannot pass through the pelvis because of its large size or your pelvis is too small.
Risk After Forceps
Childbirth with the help of forceps can pose a risk of injury to the mother and baby. Mothers will be faced with the possibility to experience:
- Difficulty urinating.
- Pain in the tissue between the vagina and anus (perineum).
- Injury to the vagina.
- Urinary and / or fecal incontinence, short term or long term.
- Anemia, which is not enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to all body tissues.
- The uterus is damaged, when the baby breaks through the uterine wall into the abdominal cavity.
- Injury to the bladder and / or urethra.
- Weakening of muscles and ligaments that causes your pelvic organs to shift from place.
- If the doctor cuts the tissue between the vagina and anus, you run the risk of bleeding and infection.
Although rare, the following are the potential risks for your baby:
- Mild sores on the face
- Cracks on the skull bones
- Bleeding in the skull.
- External injuries
- A temporary weakness occurs in the facial muscles.
Tips after undergoing forceps
After giving birth, your doctor will examine your condition including if there are injuries due to forceps. If there is pain around the vagina, the doctor will treat it.
But you can also reduce pain and speed healing at home. Here are the tips:
- You will feel pain when urinating. To relieve it, pour warm water into your genital area when urinating and rinse afterwards.
- Relieve the wound can be compressed using ice covered with a towel or cloth.
- Sit carefully. Tighten your buttocks when the body starts to bend when you want to sit. If the seat is hard, padded with a soft pillow.
- Avoid pain when defecating by pressing the wound when straining.
- You can consider other treatments, such as applying lavender oil to the wound. According to research, lavender can relieve pain after cuts in the vaginal and anal tissue. But consult this matter first to the doctor.
- When you experience this condition, you may feel afraid to defecate. To minimize pain, consume foods high in fiber such as fruits, vegetables, and grains so that your stool is not hard. Also drink plenty of water. If you want to take laxatives, consult a doctor first.
- After pregnancy and childbirth, the connective tissue under the bladder will stretch. That causes urine to come out on its own like when you laugh or cough. The problem can go away by itself in about three months. During this time, use pads and do Kegel exercises to help train your pelvic floor muscles.
- To do Kegel exercises, tighten the pelvic muscles as if you are holding urine. Hold for five seconds then release. Repeat four or five times in a row. After that increase it to 10 seconds. Then rest for 10 seconds before repeating it. Repeat 10 times. Overall repeat up to three times a day, each consisting of 10 repetitions.
If during recovery after childbirth by forceps you feel the condition does not improve, such as fever and pus appear in the wound, contact your doctor as soon as possible.