Sometimes the second stage of labour, the pushing stage, is very long and the baby's heartbeat begins to show signs that he is under stress. Under such circumstances, ventouse (suction) or forceps might be suggested.
You will probably be asked to put your legs up in stirrups. If you do not already have an epidural in place, you will be offered a spinal injection 4F,to ensure that you feel nothing. For a forceps delivery, you will need an episotomy. This is a cut made at the entrance to the back of your vagina to enlarge the opening.
If you choose ventouse, you should not need to be cut. The cup will be placed on your baby's head like a skull cap. Suction is gradually applied to remove the air from the cup and make it adhere to your baby's head. As with forceps, the doctor then pulls as you push and together, you deliver your baby.
Your baby may look a little odd when he is born, but any bruising or swelling disappears within a few days.
The forceps come in two parts and the doctor places the first one gently round your baby's head and then positions the second on the other side. There is a mechanism to secure the blades (the name for the cupped part of the forceps) so that they are in no danger of slipping. As with the ventouse, the doctor then pulls as you push and together, you deliver your baby.