What the heck is Forceps Assisted Delivery?


Forceps can be used in order to assist you in giving birth. The forceps are made of steel and look like salad tongs. Each side is placed on the side of your baby’s head then locked into a set position so they can not squeeze any tighter. Your care provider will lightly pull as you are having a contraction and bearing down.



There are a few reasons this procedure may be done:

  • You are exhausted at this point of labor, and may be having a difficult time bearing down strong enough.
  • You may have opted to have anesthesia which makes pushing difficult.
  • There is a decrease in contractions.
  • Your baby may be a little larger so the positioning is little off.
  • Your baby may be experiencing fetal distress.


Many people are concerned with the safety of a forceps delivery:

  • For a forceps delivery you will require an episiotomy and anesthesia.
  • The forceps may cause bruising to the side of your baby’s face or head.
  • Although injury to the baby’s head can occur, if the care provider is using the forceps properly, following the guidelines, injury is unlikely.
  • Forceps may cause injury to your vagina- perineal tearing.


If you are uncomfortable with a forceps delivery you can try:

  • To change positions for bearing down, specifically positions that enlarge the pelvis.
  • You and your baby can be monitored, if both of you are not showing signs of distress, you can have more time to labor.
  • A vacuum extraction can occur
  • A c-section


This intervention is done to try and help you in delivering your baby. However in some cases, if labor isn’t progressing and a vacuum or  a forceps delivery does not work, a C section may be the safest option if there are signs of distress.

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