Why it's doneBy Mayo Clinic Staff
A vacuum extraction might be considered if your labor meets certain criteria — your cervix is fully dilated, your membranes have ruptured and your baby has descended into the birth canal headfirst, but you're not able to push the baby out. A vacuum extraction is only appropriate in a birthing center or hospital where a C-section can be done, if needed.
Your health care provider might recommend vacuum extraction if:
- You're pushing, but labor isn't progressing. If you've never given birth before, labor is considered stalled if you've pushed for a period of two to three hours but haven't made any progress. If you've given birth before, labor might be considered stalled if you've pushed for a period of one to two hours without any progress.
- Your baby's heartbeat suggests a problem. If your health care provider is concerned about changes in your baby's heartbeat and an immediate delivery is necessary, he or she might recommend vacuum extraction.
- You have a health concern. If you have certain medical conditions — such as narrowing of the heart's aortic valve (aortic valve stenosis) — your health care provider might limit the amount of time you push.
Keep in mind that whenever vacuum extraction is recommended, a C-section is typically also an option.
Your health care provider might caution against vacuum extraction if:
July 03, 2015
- You're less than 34 weeks pregnant
- Your baby has previously had blood taken from his or her scalp (fetal scalp sampling)
- Your baby has a condition that affects the strength of his or her bones, such as osteogenesis imperfecta, or a bleeding disorder, such as hemophilia
- Your baby's head hasn't yet moved past the midpoint of the birth canal
- The position of your baby's head isn't known
- Your baby's shoulders, arms, buttocks or feet are leading the way through the birth canal
- Your baby might not be able to fit through your pelvis due to his or her size or the size of your pelvis
- Wegner ES, et al. Operative vaginal delivery. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 27, 2015.
- Greenberg J. Procedure for vacuum assisted operative vaginal delivery. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 15, 2015.
- Cunningham FG, et al. Operative vaginal delivery. In: Williams Obstetrics. 24th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2014. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed May 27, 2015.
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Operative delivery, cesarean delivery, and breech presentation. In: Your Pregnancy and Childbirth Month to Month. 5th ed. Washington, D.C.: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; 2010.
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Committee on Practice Bulletins — Obstetrics. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 17. Operative vaginal delivery. Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2000;95:1. Reaffirmed 2012.
- Heart disorders in pregnancy. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gynecology-and-obstetrics/pregnancy-complicated-by-disease/heart-disorders-in-pregnancy. Accessed June 11, 2015.
- Robinson JN. Approach to episiotomy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 11, 2015.
- Lavender. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://naturaldatabase.therapeuticresearch.com/nd/Search.aspx?cs=MAYO&s=ND&pt=100&id=838&ds=&name=LAVENDER&lang=0&searchid=34422770. Accessed May 2, 2012.
- Koulivand PH, et al. Lavender and the nervous system. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2013;2013:681304.
- Vayssiere C, et al. Instrumental delivery: Clinical practice guidelines from the French College of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians. European Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology. 2011;159:43.
- Jansen L, et al. First do no harm: Interventions during childbirth. The Journal of Perinatal Education. 2013;22:83.
- Yeomans ER. Operative vaginal delivery. Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2010;115:645.
- DeCherney AH, et al. Operative delivery. In: Current Diagnosis & Treatment Obstetrics & Gynecology.11th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2013. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed June 12, 2015.
- Gibbs RS, et al. Operative vaginal delivery. In: Danforth's Obstetrics and Gynecology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Wolters Kluwer Health Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2008. http://www.danforthsobgyn.com. Accessed June 12, 2015.
- You and your baby: Prenatal care, labor and delivery, and postpartum care. Washington, D.C.: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; 2014;1.
- Lowerdmilk DL, et al. Nursing care of the family during labor and birth. In: Maternity & Women's Health Care. 10th ed. St. Louis, Mo.: Elsevier Mosby; 2012:470.
- Berens P. Overview of postpartum care. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 12, 2015.
- Lewicky-Gaupp C, et al. Effect of pregnancy and childbirth on anal sphincter function and fecal incontinence. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 15, 2015.
- Brubaker L. Patient information: Pelvic floor muscle exercises (beyond the basics). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 15, 2015.
- Rohren CH (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 25, 2015.