Once you arrive at the hospital in labor, there are various procedures that may be done. Your health and the baby's health will be monitored while you are in labor. In some cases, it is necessary for the doctor to assist with the delivery using forceps or vacuum extraction.
In order to check the well-being of the baby while you are in labor, your health care providers will monitor the baby's heart rate. While fetal heart monitoring does not prevent a problem from occurring, but changes in the baby's heart rate can help to alert the health care provider that something might be wrong.
There are times when it is necessary to help the delivery along using forceps or a vacuum extractor. Forceps resemble two large salad spoons, and the doctor uses them to guide the baby's head out of the birth canal. Vacuum extraction uses a soft plastic cup that is applied to the baby's head and stays in place by suction. There is a handle on the cup that allows the doctor to use this to assist with delivery through the birth canal. The choice between using forceps or a vacuum extractor is usually made by the doctor.
These methods are sometimes used during:
The second stage of labor can take a long time, and it may be tempting to ask for a little help with a vacuum or forceps. But studies suggest that the safest route, for your bottom and for your baby, is to deliver without a vacuum or forceps. Assisted delivery is associated with more severe tears and more urinary and bowel problems for mom. Moreover, babies delivered with vacuums or forceps may have bump or bruises from their hasty exit through the birth canal. That’s why your health care provider will not use forceps or vacuum unless there’s a compelling reason to help speed up delivery.
When applied properly, forceps or vacuum deliveries rarely cause any permanent injury to the baby. The forceps' marks on the baby's cheeks usually disappear in a few days. Very rarely, the baby's facial nerves may be temporarily injured. The resulting drooping of facial muscles almost always recovers completely in a matter of weeks. Caput succedaneum is diffuse swelling of the scalp due to molding after prolonged labor. A vacuum delivery may leave a more noticeable caput. Caput usually disappears in 2-3 days. In rare cases, the vacuum device can cause bleeding within the brain.