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Instrumental Delivery

About 1 woman in 8 will need to have an instrumental delivery, using either forceps or a ventouse suction cup to help to deliver the baby's head. The commonest reasons for this are because there are worries about the baby's heart rate or because it is taking a long time for the baby to be pushed out (more common where an epidural has been used for pain relief).

The aim is to mimic a natural birth with the minimum risk to mum and baby. Sometimes it is safest to conduct these deliveries in the obstetric theatre rather than in a delivery room. Often, the doctor will need to perform an episiotomy in order to deliver the baby's head if the baby is born using forceps or ventouse.  You can read more about instrumental delivery here.