Types of forceps
Conditions for forceps
Positioning the forceps
Delivering the baby
Things to consider
Types of forceps
The selection of forceps
are made of metal, and are actually 2 separate pieces that look like a pair of salad servers. When the forceps are correctly positioned on the baby's head, the handles then lock in together to provide a protective cage around the baby's head, thus preventing excessive pressure being applied, as the baby is being born. The arms (or handles) of the forceps become neatly aligned for the caregiver to hold onto, each arm is marked 'L' (left) and 'R' (right). They extend and are curved in shape, to correspond with the woman's pelvic curve, and end in cupped, hand-like shapes (known as 'blades') that fit over the sides of the baby's head.
Image 6-51 shows a set of forceps.
There have been over 700 different types of forceps developed over the years, with a variety of shapes, sizes and lengths, generally aimed at dealing with a particular complication, or a caregiver's preference. (It seems like many obstetricians wanted to have their own, like having a tailor-made golf club!).
They have all been given names after the person who designed them. Some of the more common forceps used in Australia, and their abbreviations when written, include Wrigley's (or a Wrigley's lift out written as WLO), Neville-Barnes Forceps (NBF), Haig Ferguson's Delivery (HFD), Simpson's (SFD) and if the baby is in a posterior position, then the Kielland is often used (called a Kielland's Rotation and Delivery or KRD). You may hear these names being discussed in the delivery suite, or they could be written on your medical records, or your next pregnancy's antenatal card, to describe the 'type of birth' you had.