A little extra help with baby's delivery
Assisted delivery is when your doctor or consultant uses forceps or ventouse to help your baby into the world
At a glance
- Forceps or ventouse may be used to help your baby into the world
- An assisted delivery helps a swift and safe delivery of your baby
- You will be offered an epidural or given local anaesthetic before an assisted delivery
The words 'assisted delivery' aren't music to many mum’s ears, especially if you are determined to have a natural and 'hands off' approach to birth as possible. However, if your baby is in an awkward position, showing signs of distress or if you have been labouring for hours and are becoming too tired to push effectively, your doctors might decide that using forceps or ventouse is the best course of action to deliver your baby swiftly and safely.
If your doctors do decide to use forceps or ventouse, you will be asked to lie on the bed with your feet in stirrups. Your doctor will then use either piece of equipment to gently pull your baby out while you push with each contraction.
Forceps look like a large pair of metal spoons or tongs, and your doctor will position them around your baby's head. Your baby might be left with some small marks on their face after a forceps delivery, but these will quickly fade.
A ventouse is a vacuum cup which goes on your baby's head and is attached to a suction device. You baby will be left with a small swelling, or an elongated 'cone' head and perhaps a bruise after a ventouse delivery, but they will soon go down.
What about me?
You will be given an injection of local anaesthetic inside your vagina before an assisted delivery, or offered an epidural. If you have had an episiotomy (a cut made between your vagina and anus) for the forceps or ventouse, or if you tore naturally, you will probably have stitches and be a bit sore and tender for a while after the birth. See our episiotomy page on Bounty.com for top tips on easing any discomfort.