types and uses of forceps

Last reviewed 01/2018

The type of forceps used depends on the position and presentation of the baby.

The distinction is based on whether the baby needs to be rotated or not before being delivered, and for this the forceps are described as having two curvatures:

  • Cephalic - the inner curve which fits around the baby's head
  • Pelvic - a lengthways curve which fits the curve of the maternal pelvis.

Thus if a rotation is to be attempted, the pelvic curvature should be minimal to prevent damage to the maternal pelvis.