Canada should limit use of forceps in childbirth to prevent lifelong injuries to women: study

Canada has an alarmingly high rate of forceps use during childbirth and a correspondingly high number of preventable injuries to mothers, according to newly published research from an international team of incontinence experts.

The researchers call for a reduction in the number of births by forceps in Canada and better education for both clinicians and mothers on how to avoid injury when forceps are required.

“Often women who have had this type of delivery are completely shell-shocked because they’ve got infection, they’ve got pain, they’ve got a newborn and they had no idea that this was even a possibility,” said co-principal investigator Jane Schulz, professor and chair of obstetrics and gynecology in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry.

“Education is needed for both patients and health providers that this is a potential complication,” said Schulz, who is also a urogynecologist with the pelvic floor clinic at the Lois Hole Hospital for Women and the Alberta Women’s Health Foundation Chair in Women’s Health Research.

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