Vacuum extractor – Assistance during childbirth

A vacuum extractor is a tool that can be utilized to aid in childbirth for pregnant individuals. It's employed in specific scenarios and can be highly advantageous in helping the safe delivery of the baby.

Jenny Jansson

Read time: 2 m

Verified by Jenny Jansson

Certified midwife

Vacuum extractor – Assistance during childbirthPhoto: Preggers

What is a vacuum extractor?

A vacuum extractor is a "cup" that is placed on the baby's head during childbirth. It is connected to a device that generates a gentle suction, assisting the baby in moving through the birth canal. Vacuum extractors are used when extra assistance is required to expedite delivery or if the baby's heartbeat indicates insufficient oxygen supply.

How and when is a vacuum extractor used?

The vacuum extractor is always used when the pregnant individual is fully dilated and the baby's head has passed the pelvic floor. Before employing the vacuum extractor, the doctor or midwife evaluates the situation to ensure its appropriate application. The procedure is performed during a contraction to help facilitate the baby's passage.

The doctor gently positions the vacuum extractor on the baby's head after inserting it into the vagina. As you push, the doctor gently pulls on the vacuum extractor. If you've received pain relief and have difficulty sensing contractions, the midwife can assist by palpating your abdomen and informing you when a contraction is occurring.

To mitigate the risk of tearing, a midwife may also provide counterpressure at the perineum. The doctor usually applies traction to the vacuum extractor only during contractions. It might take 4-5 contractions for you to push and the doctor to pull with the vacuum extractor. Sometimes, the vacuum extractor is removed before the baby is fully out, and then you, as the mother, push the final bit on your own.

It's essential to remember that a vacuum extractor is only utilized in specific situations and when there are medical reasons for its use. The decision to use the vacuum extractor is always made by the doctor or midwife based on the health of both the mother and the baby.

Jenny Jansson

Verified by Jenny Jansson

Certified midwife


Hundreds of related articles, podcasts & more waiting for you in the Preggers app.

Download Preggers today.

10k reviews

More from Preggers

Read popular and relevant articles.