Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Assisted birth delivery methods - difference between forceps and ventouse

Assisted delivery - forceps or ventouse: About one in eight women have an assisted birth, where forceps or a ventouse are used to help the baby out of the vagina. This can be because:
Your baby is distressed
Your baby is in an awkward position
You are too exhausted.
Both ventouse and forceps are safe and are used only when necessary for you and your baby. A pediatrician may be present to check your baby’s health. A local anesthetic will usually be given to numb the birth canal if you have not already had an epidural or spinal anesthetic. If your obstetrician has any concerns, you may be moved to a theatre so that a caesarean section can be carried out if needed.
As the baby is being born, a cut (episiotomy) may be needed to enlarge the vaginal opening.
Any tear or cut will be repaired with stitches.
Depending on the circumstances, your baby can be delivered onto your abdomen and your birthing partner may still be able to cut the cord, if they want to.
Ventouse delivery   
A ventouse (vacuum extractor) is an instrument that has a soft or hard plastic or metal cup which is attached to your baby’s head by a tube that is fitted to a suction device. The cup fits firmly onto your baby’s head and, with a contraction and your pushing, the obstetrician or midwife gently pulls to help deliver your baby.
The suction cup (ventouse) can leave a small mark on your baby’s head called a chignon and it may also cause a bruise on your baby’s head called a cephalhaematoma. A ventouse is not used if your baby is less than 34 weeks old, because the head is too soft.
A ventouse is less likely to cause vaginal tearing than forceps.
Forceps delivery  
Forceps are smooth metal instruments that look like large spoons or tongs. They are curved to fit around the baby’s head.
The forceps are carefully positioned around your baby’s head and joined together at the handles. With a contraction and your pushing, an obstetrician gently pulls to help deliver your baby.
There are many different types of forceps. Some forceps are specifically designed to turn the baby to the right position to be born, for example if your baby is ‘back to your back’.
Forceps can leave small marks on your baby’s face. These will disappear quite quickly.
Bladder catheter after giving birth    
You will sometimes be fitted with a catheter (a small tube that fits into your bladder) for up to 24 hours. You are more likely to need this if you have had an epidural, as you may not have full feeling back.

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