Delivery with Vacuum and Forceps
Assisted vaginal delivery (also known as operative vaginal delivery) is when the doctor or midwife assists the woman to delivery using forceps, a vacuum, or other devices to extract the baby from the vagina during the second stage (pushing stage) of labor. There are several factors that go into the decision of when to use an instrument to aid a woman in the delivery of her baby. These factors both maternal and fetal are discussed in this episode. In general, this type of assistance is given in lieu of a cesarean birth.
The prevalence of assisted vaginal delivery with forceps or vacuums is around 3-4.5%. Forceps are utilized much less commonly and account for approximately 0.5 percent of vaginal births, and vacuum deliveries accounted for 2.6-4 percent of vaginal births.
Forceps can be used to delivery the head and or rotate the head to an optimal position for delivery. Different type of forceps can be utilized: outlet forceps, low forceps and mid forceps.
Vacuum deliveries do not have a separate classification system and the rotation of the baby's head is not performed with vacuum deliveries.
We have included a video link here with some explanations of birth forceps and vacuum.
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