Forceps or a ventouse birth is also called an assisted vaginal birth. An assisted delivery might be used if there are concerns about the descent of the baby through the birth canal.
During a ventouse delivery a suction cup is placed onto the baby’s head and a doctor pulls when the mother has a contraction.
A forceps birth uses a metal tool that looks like a pair of tongs. The forceps fit around the baby’s head, and like the ventouse, the doctor pulls the baby to help delivery.
Sometimes these instruments used in an assisted birth can leave marks on a baby’s face and head which would normally disappear after a couple of days. Sometimes this can cause facial scarring.
Forceps and ventouse delivery can also cause maternal injuries including:
- Tears and wounds ranging from a first to a fourth degree
- The need for an episiotomy
- Pain after delivery
- Blood loss and anaemia
- Difficulty urinating
- Uterine rupture
- Bladder or urethra damage
- Pelvic organ prolapse, caused by weakened muscles in the pelvic region
Support and information about maternal birth injuries.