How you prepare

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Before your health care provider considers a forceps delivery, he or she might try other ways to encourage labor to progress. For example, he or she might adjust your anesthetic to encourage more effective pushing. To stimulate stronger contractions, another option might be intravenous medication — typically a synthetic version of the hormone oxytocin (Pitocin).

If a forceps delivery seems to be the best option, your health care provider will explain the risks and benefits of the procedure and ask for your consent. You might also ask about alternatives, usually C-section.

If you haven't already been given a regional anesthetic, your health care provider will likely give you an epidural or a spinal anesthetic if the procedure is not done for an emergent reason (the baby's heart rate is dropping). A member of your medical team will place a catheter in your bladder to empty it of urine. Your health care provider might also make an incision in the tissue between your vagina and your anus (episiotomy) to help ease the delivery of your baby.

July 08, 2015