What are the dangers of vacuum-assisted birth?

A vacuum-assisted birth uses a special tool that helps to pull the baby from the womb. The Mayo Clinic explains the decision to use the vacuum often occurs when you are in active labor and there is an issue with the baby making it through the birth canal.

Often, the reasons a doctor may decide to do a vacuum-assisted birth are issues of which your doctor should be aware prior to your labor and delivery. Many times, a cesarian section is an alternative to this type of birth. You may not have a choice, though, which exposes you to the risks of a vacuum-assisted birth.

Risks to your baby

The risks to your baby are more serious than the risks to you. A vacuum-assisted birth requires attaching a suction device to your baby’s head, which can cause head injuries, including skull fractures and brain bleeds.

In addition, the vacuum enables the doctor to pull the baby through the birth canal. If it is too narrow, your baby could face the risk of getting stuck, which can cut off his or her oxygen supply. It also increases the risk of shoulder dislocations.

Risks to you

You will face similar risks to those of a natural vaginal birth. You may experience tearing and incontinence.

If the vacuum process does not work, your doctor may have to rush you into the operating room to do a cesarian section. You may not be able to remain awake during the procedure due to it being an emergency, which means you will miss the birth of your baby.