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Sometimes your baby may need to be assisted to be born with the help of a doctor. This can be because there are signs that you are getting tired or the baby is getting tired and speeding up the birth is advised. This will be explained to you.
It can usually take place in your birthing room but occasionally there may be reasons to move you and your birthing partner to the theatre for the birth.
Birth will then take place by placing a Ventouse (suction) cup on the top of the baby’s head- and at the same time as you push the doctor will gently pull with the contractions, which will help bring your baby lower through the birth canal and then be born.
Alternatively assessment by the doctor may suggest that birth by placing forceps gently on the side of the baby’s head is the best way to help the baby be born.
Very occasionally first the ventouse and then the forceps may be used to help your baby be born. (Very rarely following an attempt at an instrumental birth the baby is not successfully lowered through the birth canal and then proceeding to an Emergency Caesarean Section is advised).
For both types of instrumental birth, it may be possible that the doctor advises that an episiotomy ( a small cut in the perineum ) is done to make a bit of extra space for the baby to come out and prevent a complex tear occurring.
Following the birth you may notice some swelling, marks or bruising on the baby’s head – from ventouse; or on the side of the head/face/cheeks from forceps birth. All these marks usually start disappearing within the first few days.