The fetal station is the relationship of the presenting part (head/buttocks/feet) to the ischial spines (assessed vaginally). It is measured in centimetres above (-) or below (+) the ischial spines.

If the lowest part of the baby's skull has reached the ischial spines, it can be taken that the largest diameter of the head (BPD) has passed the pelvic brim. This is because the distance between the leading edge of the skull and BPD is smaller than the distance between the spines and the pelvic brim.

For instrumental delivery, the leading edge of the fetal skull (and not caput) should be at or below the ischial spines

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