You want your birth experience to be a smooth and easy one, but it does not always go that way. In some cases, your delivery doctor may have to perform a forceps delivery, which involves using a particular medical instrument to extract your baby during birth.

You may need to undergo a forceps delivery if your labor fails to progress, or if your baby’s heartbeat shows signs of a problem. If you have certain medical conditions such as hypertension or heart disease, this, too, may increase the odds of you needing a forceps delivery. Such deliveries may cause harm to you as well as your child, though, and common complications are as follows.

Complications for you, the mother

When your physician uses forceps to deliver your child, it increases the chances of you experiencing lower genital tract tears. You may also suffer from urinary or fecal incontinence after this type of delivery, or you may experience pain in your perineum.

In some cases, forceps deliveries may also lead to uterine rupture, injuries to your bladder or urethra or weakness in the muscles or ligaments that keep your pelvic organs in place.

Complications for your baby

You are more likely to suffer an injury or complication following a forceps delivery than your baby. However, the procedure creates risks for your child, too. Sometimes, babies delivered via this method experience seizures or intracranial bleeding. Eye trauma, facial weakness and facial injuries are also complications sometimes experienced by babies whose doctors deliver them using forceps.