What Are the Side Effects of Vacuum Delivery?

Medically Reviewed on 10/28/2020

What are the side effects of vacuum delivery?

Vacuum-assisted birth assists the delivery of a baby using a vacuum device.
Vacuum-assisted birth assists the delivery of a baby using a vacuum device.

Vacuum-assisted birth is a method to assist the delivery of a baby using a vacuum device. The side effects include

Risks to the mother

  • Damage to the vagina and cervix if the cup is not attached to the baby’s head correctly.
  • Women who undergo vacuum birth might experience pain and soreness if they have had a tear.
  • Risk of infection to the mother.

Risks to baby

There is a higher risk of failure to deliver the baby with this method (alternative methods include Cesarean delivery or forceps).

  • The baby will be left with a temporary lump on their head.
  • Bleeding in the back of the eyes, which is relatively common in a newborn baby.
  • There is a possibility of bleeding in the potential space between the skull and the scalp.
  • Skull fracture
  • It can cause newborn jaundice (yellowing of eyes and skin).
  • The baby may have bleeding inside the skull, which is a rare yet a serious risk of vacuum-assisted delivery. The suction applied to the baby’s head can damage the veins inside the skull, causing bleeding in the skull.

What is vacuum delivery?

Vacuum delivery is a type of assisted birth delivery also called ventouse-assisted delivery. In any pregnancy, where bearing down or pushing efforts would be risky, the mother is exhausted or the heart rate of the fetus changes, then a vacuum-assisted delivery is advised. The procedure is usually done under anesthesia (epidural).

  • In this procedure, the doctor usually uses a vacuum device to assist the delivery of the baby.
  • Vacuum extraction is done during the second stage of labor (pushing phase) when the baby is very close to being delivered. There is also a chance that the doctor may need to perform an episiotomy (a cut is made on the left side of the woman’s vaginal opening) to enlarge the vaginal opening for the placement of the vacuum.
  • The doctor may place the vacuum extraction's plastic cup on thebaby's head.
  • The doctor may use the vacuum pump to create suction, which may help guide the baby through the birth canal and prevent the baby's head from moving back up the birth canal in between contractions.
  • The doctor will remove the cup and the mother can push the rest of the baby's body out.

What are the benefits of vacuum delivery?

The benefits of vacuum delivery include

  • A vacuum device can rotate the baby if they’re in an abnormal position and can help rotate the baby’s head into a correct position.
  • Women are less likely to experience maternal accidents compared to forceps and C-section.
  • The force applied to the baby can be less than that of a forceps delivery and it leaves no mark on the face of the baby.
  • The mother still takes an active role in the birth of her baby.
  • The procedure requires less anesthesia and pain-relieving medications.
  • There is less risk of maternal death.

SLIDESHOW

Conception: The Amazing Journey from Egg to Embryo See Slideshow

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Medically Reviewed on 10/28/2020
References
Medscape Medical Reference

Medline