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Patients & Visitors


Assisted Birth

Nearing the end of your birth process you or your baby may require some additional help, from a midwife or obstetrician.

This can be because:

  • There are concerns about the baby's heart rate
  • Your baby is in a position which is prolonging your birth
  • Your baby's birth is taking longer than normal – greater than 3 hours in the pushing stage
  • You are tired at the end of labour

Both ventouse and forcep assisted births are safe and only used when necessary for you and/or your baby. The birth plan will be discussed and explained to you and your support person and verbal consent obtained.

You will be given choices for pain relief before the assisted birth. A neonatal (baby) doctor or nurse will be asked to attend to check your baby's condition after the birth.

Ventouse birth

A ventouse is a small cup that is attached to your baby's head by suction. The cup fits firmly onto your baby's head. During a contraction and with the help of your pushing, the obstetrician or midwife gently pulls to help you birth your baby.

Forceps birth

Forceps are smooth metal instruments that cradle your baby's head. With a contraction and your pushing, an obstetrician gently pulls to help birth your baby. Forceps can leave small marks on your baby's face but these will disappear quite quickly.

For any situation in theatre, a number of staff are required. For this reason, a second support person is not able to be present. However, the anaesthetist and midwife will be present throughout the birth or procedure and acting as advocates for the family. It is also worth noting that if a situation in theatre becomes more serious, we may need to ask your support person to wait in the quiet room next door.

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