Assisted Vaginal Deliveries And Caesarean Sections

Assisted deliveries with a vacuum or forceps are necessary when we need to expedite the birth of your baby such as with suspected fetal distress or maternal exhaustion. In these circumstances, when the cervix is fully dilated and the baby is low in the pelvis, a vacuum or forceps assisted delivery is advised. Pain relief is important and the procedure is usually done under epidural or a spinal (local) block. In general, forceps deliveries are usually done by an obstetrician where as a vacuum assisted delivery is done by GP’s and obstetricians. The procedures have low risk for injury of patients or their babies when certain rules are followed. The rules include knowing the position of the baby and easy descent on traction of the baby in the birth canal.

If the assisted delivery fails, a Caesarean Section (CS) delivery will be recommended. A CS is required when the cervix is not yet fully dilated or the baby is high in the pelvis. CS are necessary for obstructed labour (when the cervix stops dilating or the baby fails to descend), fetal distress and other obstetric complications such as a breech position. This surgery is done in the operating room, usually under a spinal or epidural anesthesia. A Bikini cut entrance is used and your baby will typically be delivered within ten minutes. The on call pediatrician will care for your baby immediately after birth, and once examined, your partner can hold the baby close to you for the remainder of the operation. It takes approximately forty minutes after delivery of the baby to finish the surgery.

After an assisted delivery or CS we attempt to keep the postpartum period as close to normal as possible by beginning breastfeeding and skin to skin contact within an hour of birth. You will spend 1-2 hours in the recovery room before transfer to the mom and babe ward.