Close

We use cookies to give you the best possible online experience. If you continue, we'll assume you are happy for your web browser to receive all cookies from our website. See our cookie policy for more information on cookies and how to manage them.

Treatment: Assisted Delivery

When a vaginal delivery does not progress smoothly, a baby may need an assisted delivery. This sometimes occurs if the mother is too exhausted to push the baby out or the baby becomes stuck or distressed. In these circumstances, the doctor may use vacuum suction or forceps to assist the delivery. An episiotomy to enlarge the birth opening is usually carried out just before an assisted delivery.

Vacuum suction delivery

A suction cup is placed on the baby’s scalp, and the baby is pulled out while the mother pushes. The suction cup leaves a temporary swelling on the baby’s head.

Forceps delivery

Metal forceps are inserted into the vagina and placed on each side of the baby’s head. The doctor pulls with the forceps as the mother pushes the baby out.

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

Back to top

Search the
Medical Encyclopedia

Related Topics

The subjects, conditions and treatments covered in this encyclopaedia are for information only and may not be covered by your insurance product should you make a claim.