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Avoiding Vacuum-Assisted Births

Submitted by jrlaw on Oct 23rd, 2009

According to BabyCenter.com, when complications arise and baby needs to be removed from the mother quickly, one technique utilized is vacuum-assisted birth, whereby the doctor or midwife attaches a flexible, rounded cup to the baby's head while in the birth canal. The cup connects to an electric suction pump, or small hand-held pump that creates a vacuum-like pressure, holding the cup in place on the baby's head. Then the mother is asked to push while the doctor pulls gently on a handle attached to the cup in order to move the baby down and out of the birth canal.

Babies born by vacuum-assisted means are likely to have bruising on top of their heads. Ordinarily, the bruise heals within a few weeks. However, babies who get bruised are more likely also to become jaundiced because red blood cells in the bruise break up and release a blood component that causes jaundice.

Other more serious complications for baby are rare, but can occur. 59 out of 10,000 VAD births produce other life-threatening complications, as the procedure can damage baby's skin or cause bleeding under the skin. In more severe cases, VAD results in edema, bleeding between the skull and skin, and irreparable brain damage.

Vacuum-assisted delivery increases the mother's risk for tears in her vagina, perineum and anal sphincter.

According to HealthLine, an estimated 10-15 percent of babies are operative vaginally delivered. One third of these births are vacuum-assisted.

When you become pregnant, you are encouraged strongly to become informed about your choices for health care providers and choose those with proven track records for success. You are encouraged to participate actively in all decisions regarding testing, developing a birth plan, and ensuring that you and your provider share similar viewpoints about steps to be taken should unforeseeable complications arise.

If you or someone you know believes she has been the victim of medical malpractice, please take a moment and fill out our form today..