Assisted Vaginal Delivery – Everything You Need To Know About It

Written by MomJunction • 

Are you having sleepless nights worrying about your delivery? Are you clueless about the various birthing methods?

Assisted vaginal delivery is one aspect of vaginal delivery. If you have heard about it and wanted to know more, read further to find all the information you need.

What Is Assisted Delivery?

As the name suggests, an assisted vaginal delivery is one where you need a little help or assistance to deliver your baby through the vagina (1). In this situation, your doctor will most likely use either a vacuum device or forceps.

  • In the case of a vacuum assisted delivery, your doctor will use a vacuum extraction device. The device uses suction to hold a cap attached to a handle on your baby’s head. Your doctor will then pull while asking you to push.
  • In the case of a forceps assisted vaginal delivery, your doctor will insert curved blades on both sides of your baby’s head. The doctor will then lock them together and pull . Forceps help bring out a baby through the birth canal.

Although these procedures sound scary, doctors are experienced to ensure your baby arrives safe and sound.

[ Read: 15 Best Positions For Labor ]

When Is An Assisted Vaginal Delivery Needed?

Your doctor may suggest an assisted vaginal delivery under the following circumstances:

  • It could be at the end of your labor if you have been pushing for a long time and are completely exhausted (2).
  • It could also be if your baby’s head is almost out, but his heart rate is dropping or looking weak.
  • You may require assisted vaginal delivery if your baby is almost out but has developed some problem suddenly. You could also require it if your doctor feels the need to shift the baby’s head to a better position to aid birthing (3).
  • After a shot of epidural anesthesia, your pelvic muscles may not be able to aid birthing. Your pelvic muscles help to turn your baby’s head and shoulders into the correct position for birthing. An epidural might also make it difficult for you to feel contractions. In such a scenario, your doctor may suggest an assisted vaginal delivery.
  • In some cases, your baby may not be able to receive enough oxygen. Lack of oxygen can increase the risk of brain damage in your baby. Your doctor may suggest an assisted vaginal delivery in such a case.

[ Read: Is It Safe To Take Epidural During Labor ]

How Can An Assisted Vaginal Delivery Affect My Baby?

An assisted vaginal delivery with forceps may affect your baby in the following ways:

  • Your baby may have redness on a part of his face. It will gradually fade away within a few days after birth.
  • Your baby may have some small bruises that will disappear soon after birth.
  • In most cases, your baby may experience a temporary trauma to the facial nerves. Permanent damage might occur in rarest situations.
  • Your baby’s head may be of a cone shape at birth. It is a normal occurrence in vaginal birth.

[ Read: How To Push During Labour ]

An assisted vaginal delivery with suction may affect your baby in the following ways:

  • Your baby may develop a harmless blood blister or cephalohematoma (4) somewhere on the scalp. In most cases, it may take up to six to eight weeks for your baby’s scalp to heal fully.
  • Your baby may experience slight bruising on the scalp, which will disappear in a few days after birth.

An assisted vaginal delivery will not be a pre-planned procedure in most births. Speak to your doctor about the process to clear any doubts.

If you have undergone an assisted vaginal delivery, please share your experience and advice here.

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