The Rotunda Hospital Dublin

Assisted Delivery

Some women need help to deliver their baby vaginally. This may be due to exhaustion and not being able to push the baby out. Also, the baby can show signs of becoming distressed during birth and the safest thing is to deliver the baby quickly.

Assisted Vaginal Delivery

The midwife and doctor will explain the process to you. A ventouse (vacuum) is a shallow suction cup placed on the baby’s head. This suction helps to get the baby out quickly. Forceps are metal instruments, which look like a tongs. One part of the forceps is gently placed on each side of the baby’s head.

You will be told to continue pushing during contractions while the doctor helps you using the ventouse or forceps. An episiotomy is more likely to be performed if you need an assisted vaginal delivery.

Assisted Delivery


A caesarean section is an operation to allow the baby to be born without going through the birth canal. A caesarean section can be planned (elective) or unplanned (emergency). As a caesarean section is considered to be major surgery, it is only performed if there is a clinical need, following discussion between you and the obstetrician. The baby is born through an incision or opening in your tummy just below the bikini line. The midwife will come with you to theatre and will care for your baby when it is born.

Sometimes it is possible for your birth partner to come with you to the theatre for the birth. This will depend on how urgent your caesarean section is. Also, the obstetrician and anaesthetist must agree that it’s ok. If your partner can’t come with you, the midwife will stay with you throughout the operation; your birth partner will wait outside the theatre and will see your baby as soon as possible after birth.