Birth Injury: When Your Baby was Injured by Forceps

Forceps are still sometimes used to assist in delivery. Forceps are a type of tongs used by obstetricians to grab the baby’s head and gently pull, when delivery has stalled or if the baby is showing signs of distress and needs to be delivered faster than the mother can do on her own. Forceps delivery can cause injuries to both mother and baby. Some injuries resolve on their own, but serious forceps injuries can be permanent or fatal. If your baby has suffered a forceps injury, it may have been caused by medical negligence and you and your child may be able to recover compensation.

Forceps Malpractice

Forceps are only to be used when necessary and under the right conditions. In addition to meeting the medical requirements for choosing forceps assistance, it takes a high level of skill and experience to use forceps safely. And, even when used properly, forceps delivery poses some risks. Doctors are required to tell patients about the risks so that they can make an informed choice of whether to allow the use of forceps.

If your child suffered injuries are a result of improper use of forceps or if your child was injured and you were not informed of the risks before agreeing to the use of forceps, you may be able to recover substantial compensation through a medical malpractice claim.

Forceps Birth Injuries

Birth injuries to infants, caused by forceps, can include:

  • Nerve damage
  • Bleeding in the brain
  • Facial paralysis
  • Skull fractures
  • Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)
  • Stroke
  • Seizures
  • Brain injuries, including cerebral palsy
  • Brachial plexus injuries, including Erb’s palsy


A medical malpractice lawsuit can be brought on behalf of your child. Money won by settlement or verdict, goes to the child, usually in a trust that is used to pay for the child’s needs. As the parent, you may also be able to sue for your losses such as lost income due to having to quit your job to provide care to a disabled child, and emotional anguish.

Find a medical malpractice attorney near you.

Avatar About Sandra Dalton

With a background as a paralegal, focusing on criminal defense and civil rights, Sandra Dalton launched her freelance writing career in 2000 with a weekly column on Freedom for Suite 101 and pro bono projects for individuals and organizations supporting causes close to her heart. One of her first projects was for the Police Compliant Center writing about police misconduct. Sandra’s legal writing quickly expanded to include personal injury, animal welfare, criminal defense, disability discrimination, family law and much more.