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Assisted delivery happens late in labor, when your baby is almost out. Your caregiver may use a vacuum or forceps to help pull your baby out.
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Linda Murray: Assisted delivery happens late in labor when your baby is almost out. Your caregiver may use one of two tools: a vacuum or a forceps to help pull your baby out. This kind of assistance ends up being needed in about one in twenty US births, either because the baby needs to be delivered quickly for safety reasons, or because the mom is too worn out to continue pushing. When a vacuum is used, a flexible curved cup is stuck to your baby's head using suction, as you push the doctor gently pulls your baby out. When forceps are used, the doctor gently grasps your baby's head with curved metal tongs and pulls your baby out while you push.
Being delivered with the help of a vacuum or forceps can leave some bruising on your baby's head. Forceps can create some blisters on his scalp too. These complications are minor and should clear up within a few weeks. There are possible drawbacks for you too. You might need an episiotomy to give your doctor enough room to use the tool, especially if she uses forceps, and with or without the episiotomy you have a higher risk of tearing with an assisted delivery. If your doctor has trouble getting your baby out you'll need to have a C-Section.
Mom 1: The doctor finally came in and used a vacuum and had to pull twice, poor thing, so broke her skin on her head a little but, but she was fine when she came out, and even though we didn't want to have to use anything like that it actually turned out great because it got her out of there; she was out of distress.
Mom 2: They tried getting the vacuum, suctioned, and it kept losing suction, and I just knew I didn't have much more in me, and I think he actually came completely out in one push once they broke the bag of water.
Mom 3: And they did actually vacuum him out in the end, which he had a huge cone head, but he came out just fine. He's great today, no cone head.