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    Assisted Delivery

    Occasionally your pushing efforts may need assistance. This may occur in situations such as:

    • There is a sudden change in the fetal heart rate or maternal condition that require immediate delivery. (In this situation, the baby is often low enough in the birth canal to accommodate immediate vaginal delivery rather than cesarean delivery.)

    • The baby is turned and in a difficult position for delivery, such as a posterior position.

    • There is ineffective pushing due to numbness from anesthesia.

    • The mother is exhausted and unable to continue to push effectively.
    When delivery is assisted with either forceps or vacuum extraction, some form of anesthesia is administered before the forceps or vacuum is applied. Assisted deliveries should be discussed with your physician or midwife, however, a physician performs assisted deliveries.

    Vacuum Extraction and ForcepsVacuum Extractor
    Suction is applied to the baby's head to help turn his head and/or assist with delivery. The baby may have a bruise on the area in which the suction cup was attached. This bruise will gradually fade.

    Forceps are instruments that are placed on the baby's head to turn the baby and/or assist the mother with delivery. Forceps are most commonly used when the baby is in the lower portion of the vaginal outlet (low forceps delivery). Only on rare occasions would forceps be applied in a higher position. If forceps marks (small reddened areas on the baby's cheeks) appear, they tend to fade quickly.