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Vacuum Extraction in Labor and Birth


Updated July 12, 2013

Vacuum Extractor

Vacuum Extractor

Photo © Robin Elise Weiss
Question: Vacuum Extraction in Labor and Birth

Vacuum extraction is used in labors where the baby is not progressing down the birth canal as quickly or as well as your doctor or midwife would like. This can be done to prevent a cesarean section. It can be used instead of forceps.

Sometimes this is done if the baby is having trouble as shown by a low or slowed fetal heart rate. This can be a way to speed the birth.

To prevent the need for vacuum extraction some practitioners encourage the use of certain upright labor positions like squatting to help the baby go further into the birth canal.

Talk to your doctor or midwife about how they use vacuum extraction and what you can do to prevent it.

More on Vacuum Extractions & Forceps in Labor and Birth.

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