Vacuum Assisted Birth: Risks and Benefits
Created by Mansi Dubey Updated on May 20, 2018
Vacuum assisted birth or Ventouse, is a method to assist the delivery of a baby using a vacuum device. Vacuum assisted birth is generally chosen as an option in the second stage of labor, if it has not progressed adequately. In any pregnancy where bearing down or pushing efforts would be risky, maternal exhaustion takes place or heart rate of the foetus changes, then a vacuum assisted delivery is advised. Most of the time vacuum assisted birth is an alternative to C-section and forceps delivery.
Birth through Vacuum device is generally safe for you and your baby but sometimes even it can cause a negative effect on either the baby or the mother.
Risks Of Vacuum Assisted Birth
- The baby will be left with temporary lump on its head
- There is a higher risk of failure to deliver the baby than forceps
- There’s a possibility of bleeding in the potential space between skull and the scalp
- It may lead to intracranial haemorrhage, or bleeding inside the skull, which is very rare yet serious risk of vacuum assisted delivery. The suction applied to baby head can damage the veins, causing the bleeding in the skull
- Bleeding in the back of the eyes, which is relatively common in a new born baby
- Skull fracture
- It can cause newborn jaundice (yellowing of eyes and skin)
- Women who undergo vacuum birth might experience pain and soreness if they have had an episiotomy or a tear
- Risk of an infection to the mother
- Damage to the vagina and cervix, if the cup is not attached to the baby correctly
Benefits Of Vacuum Assisted Birth
- The force applied to the baby can be less than that of a forceps delivery, and leave no mark on the face of the baby
- Women are less likely to go through maternal trauma compare to forceps and C-section
- The mother still takes an active role in the birth of her baby
- An episiotomy (enlarge the opening for the baby to pass) may not be required
- Requires less anaesthesia and pain relieving medications
- Less risk of maternal death
A vacuum device can rotate the baby if it’s in an abnormal position, and can help rotate the baby’s head into a correct position
You should not be afraid of the vacuum assisted birth or worry about its complications because even normal delivery can result in complications in both mother and the baby. Your doctor knows what is best for you and she would advise and take actions which will result in a healthy birth of your baby.
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| Oct 19, 2018
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