What is a forceps delivery?

At our antenatal class we often get asked about forceps delivery.

4% of births in Ireland use a forceps delivery.

What is a forceps delivery?

In a forceps delivery an instrument shaped like a pair of large spoons is applied to the baby’s head to help guide the baby out of the birth canal. This is typically dine during a contraction while the mother pushes.

Why may it be performed?

  • Fetal distress
  • Failure to advance in 2nd stage

How is it performed?

  • Performed by obstetrician
  • Cervix >10cm and baby in birth canal
  • Baby’s position will influence instrumental choice
  • Pediatrician always present for delivery