If you are a Louisiana mother-to-be, your baby’s safety, health and welfare are always foremost in your mind. If this is your first pregnancy or if you are a small woman who may have difficulty delivering vaginally, you may wish to research vacuum extraction as your delivery date approaches so that you can make an informed decision should the possible need for this procedure arise.

As defined by the Mayo Clinic, a vacuum extraction is a medical procedure often used when a mother is unable to push her baby out of the birth canal. During your contractions, a cup with a vacuum pump is attached to your baby’s head to help pull him or her out.

Vacuum extraction contraindications

Vacuum extraction is seldom a good idea under any of the following conditions:

  • Your pregnancy has progressed fewer than 34 weeks
  • Your baby’s head is not yet at least halfway through the birth canal
  • Your baby’s feet, buttocks, arms or shoulders are lowermost in the birth canal
  • Your baby has hemophilia or weak bones
  • Your baby has had a blood sample taken from his or her scalp while in your womb
  • Your baby may not fit through your pelvis due to his or her size

Vacuum extraction risks

A vacuum extraction puts your baby at risk for an injury to his or her scalp or skull. In addition, your baby could develop bleeding inside the skull. He or she also could suffer a broken collarbone if the shoulders get stuck in the birth canal after the head comes out.

A caesarean section is an alternative to a vacuum extraction. Moreover, if the vacuum extraction fails, you have very few options other than a C-section. Only you and your doctor can make an informed decision as to whether or not a vacuum extraction is right for you and your baby. This is general information only and is not intended to provide legal advice.