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Comparing Forceps and Vacuum Delivery Methods

Here is a quick comparison between the forceps and vacuum extraction procedures.

When delivering a child, there is always a risk of complication. One common issue is when the baby gets stuck in the birth canal, and doctors can remedy this by employing a vacuum or forceps extraction. Both of these methods can have benefits, but they can also be harmful under the wrong circumstances. Here is a quick comparison between the forceps and vacuum extraction procedures.

Benefits

A forceps delivery involves using a pair of medical tongs to gently pull out a baby by the head. It is proven more successful than vacuum extraction, which uses a soft suction cup and a vacuum machine on the head. Using the forceps reduces the risk of cephalohematoma, which is too much blood between the skull and tissue of the baby’s head, compared to a vacuum delivery. Doctors who have been experienced for a long time will generally prefer this method over the vacuum. On the other hand, the vacuum option is more common than using forceps, because it doesn’t need as much anesthesia for its use. This option appears to be a lower risk for both the baby and mother.

Risks

Forceps raise the risk of vaginal tears during delivery. While doctors can repair the injuries, it gives the mother a longer recovery time than usual. Forceps extraction also poses a higher risk of harming the baby’s facial nerves. And retinal hemorrhage and cephalhematoma can also occur. Although vacuum extraction is more common than forceps, the failure rate is higher than for a forceps delivery. And if the vacuum delivery fails, the doctor might have to perform an emergency C-section, which has an entirely different set of risks and complications.

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