Labor and Delivery: Vacuum and Forceps Extraction
In this case, it may be necessary for the doctor to intervene to help the baby out of the birth canal. Assuming the baby is situated low enough in the birth canal and there are no other complications that would rule out a vaginal delivery, your doctor may try a forceps delivery. Though increasingly less common, forceps delivery means that the doctor will apply the two sections of the forceps on either side of the baby's head and pull during a contraction.
Some of the possible side effects include bruising to the babys head that usually heals on its own within a few weeks. Less common is facial nerve damage, which, too, generally heals on its own. Forceps delivery is more dangerous for the mother. Some possible dangers include tears to your cervix, vagina or perineum. Some doctors perform an episiotomy prior to forceps delivery to avoid the latter.
With a vacuum extraction, the doctor applies a suction cup to the baby's head and pulls during contractions. Vacuum extraction leaves a blood-filled "cap" on the baby's head after delivery, which can look scary, but it will reabsorb and disappear over time. While there is still a risk for tearing of the vagina, cervix and perineum with a vacuum delivery, the odds are lesser than with a forceps delivery.