Forceps: A Birth Aide or a Baby Killer?

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The event of childbirth is one that changes a person’s life. Women dream all their lives of holding their newborn child and raising them to be fine young men and women. Couples try, sometimes through many long and time-consuming methods, to conceive a child. And when that little bundle of life is born, nothing in the world is as wonderful. Unfortunately, though, some births do not go as planned. Complications in birth force doctors to use assistive devices to get the child out of the birthing canal. One of these devices is the forceps. These forceps are shaped like salad tongs and are used to guide the baby’s head out of the birth canal (Staff, 2012). They are generally used when the mother is too tired to proceed with the second stage of labor or when fetal stress is apparent, such as an irregular heartbeat (Ham, 2010). Forceps are not used until the head is at a +2 station or lower but not yet crowning (Ricci & Kyle, 2009). History of forceps use goes all the way back to 1720, when they were first introduced to aid in delivery (Germane & Rubenstein, 1989). While they are successful in some cases, many times they can lead to horrifying and fatal results. This paper will attempt to persuade the reader that the use of forceps during birth should be outlawed. Forceps are actually rare in the United States. In fact, a 2013 report by the Centers for Disease Control showed that forceps were used in 3.5% of births in 2011. This is quite a decrease from back in 1990, when just over 9% of births involved forceps (Martin, Hamilton, Ventura, Osterman, & Mathews, 2013). The Center of Advancing Health gives a reason as to why this percentage has decreased. According to a 2010 review from the Cochrane Library, the decline in... ... middle of paper ... ...ertile women are able to have children that the wait is worth it. The field of medicine has made leaps and bounds throughout the years. Surgeries are easier and less invasive. Doctors are able to do things that they never would have dreamed of years ago. One thing, however, that remains, is the use of forceps to assist in delivery of unborn children. The statistics do not lie. Forceps lead to injuries to both the baby and mother. Studies have shown multiple instances of spinal injuries, facial injuries, and skeletal injuries in the baby as well as tissue damage and trauma to the mother. Forceps are an ancient practice that does not translate to modern health care practices. The sooner they are outlawed, the sooner we will be free from hearing horror stories like Olivia Marie Coats. It is clear that forceps do more bad than good and need to go immediately.
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