"Vaginal Delivery Using an Instrument" Demonstrated by a Shot of a Waxy Model.

An assisted delivery, sometimes called an ‘instrumental delivery’, is when your doctor will help in the birthing process by using instruments such as a ventouse (vacuum extractor) or forceps to help you deliver your baby.

"Vaginal Delivery Using an Instrument" Demonstrated by a Shot of a Waxy Model.

Both options are safe for you and your baby and are only used when necessary.

Some reasons why your doctor or obstetrician may need to assist during delivery is because:

there are concerns about the baby's heart rate

your baby is in an awkward position

you're too exhausted

If the baby's head is in an awkward position, it will need turning (rotating) to allow the birth. A paediatrician may be present to check your baby's condition after the birth. A local anaesthetic is usually given to numb the vagina and perineum (the skin between the vagina and anus) if you haven't already had an epidural.

If your obstetrician has any concerns, you may be moved to an operating theatre so that a caesarean section can be carried out if needed, for example if the baby can't be easily delivered by forceps or a ventouse. This is more likely if your baby's head needs turning.

Sometimes, a cut, known as an ‘episiotomy’ may be needed as the baby is being born to make the vaginal opening bigger. Any tear or cut will be repaired with stitches. Depending on the circumstances, your baby can be delivered and placed onto your tummy, and your birthing partner may still be able to cut the cord if they want to.

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