How you prepare

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Before your health care provider considers a vacuum extraction, he or she might try other ways to encourage labor to progress. For example, he or she might adjust your anesthesia to encourage more effective pushing. To stimulate stronger contractions, another option might be intravenous medication — typically a synthetic version of the hormone oxytocin (Pitocin).

If vacuum extraction seems to be the best option, your health care provider will explain the risks and benefits of the procedure and ask for your consent. You might also ask about alternatives, usually C-section.

If you haven't already been given a regional anesthetic, your health care provider might give you an epidural or a spinal anesthetic unless the vacuum delivery is being done for an emergent reason (such as a drop in the baby's heartrate). A member of your medical team will place a catheter in your bladder to empty it of urine. Your health care provider might also make an incision in the tissue between your vagina and your anus (episiotomy) to help ease the delivery of your baby.

July 03, 2015