|

Possible Complications of an Assisted Birth

In the majority of cases, both the mother and baby are perfectly well after an assisted birth, but occasionally complications are encountered.

Problems during the delivery

A condition known as shoulder dystocia, in which the baby's shoulders become stuck during the birth, is more common with a forceps or vacuum delivery. If the shoulders get stuck, simple maneuvers usually release them without great difficulty, but very rarely, a shoulder dystocia can turn into an emergency, and your doctor may have to perform special maneuvers or even an emergency cesarean to complete the baby's birth.

How your baby may be affected

Forceps can leave a temporary bruise on the side of your baby's face and can even put pressure on a nerve near the eyes, stopping the baby from being able to blink properly for a day or two. In contrast, the vacuum tends to leave a bruise on the top of the head rather than on the face (and the head may appear elongated at first where the suction pressure was applied). This can look a little alarming, but it will disappear after a couple of weeks. More severe complications for your baby, which can include a fractured skull bone after a forceps delivery, or bleeding inside the skull after a vacuum, are very rare.

How you may be affected

You're more likely to be given an episiotomy cut, particularly during a forceps delivery, to protect your back passage from more severe damage during the birth. This is usually successful, but in some cases an extra tear may occur in the back passage and careful stitching, after delivery is required to repair the area. Stitches may also be used if you get other tears in or around the vagina.

Episiotomy cut

A medio-lateral cut is usually done into the muscle, angled away from the vagina and the perineum.

excerpted from:

Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
Buy this book now!

Pregnancy Day by Day

Tell us your due date to receive our daily newsletter and find out what is happening in this day of your pregnancy!

Already a member? Log-in here

Name of the Day

stay connected

highlights

Healthy Smile Checklist for Kids
Have better dental check-ups with this free printable checklist that helps keep your child flossing, brushing, and smiling! Brought to you by Philips Sonicare.

Kindergarten Readiness App
It's kindergarten registration time! Use this interactive kindergarten readiness checklist, complete with fun games and activities, to practice the essential skills your child needs for this next big step. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Top 10 Earth Day Books for Children
Celebrate the environment by reading some of these great children's books about Earth Day, recycling, planting trees, and all things green!

Prom Dress Trends for 2014
Check out 2014 prom dress trends inspired by celebrities’ red carpet looks, but with a price tag under $100!

© 2000-2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.