Sometimes extra help is needed to deliver your baby quickly and safely. Some women need what's called an assisted delivery. This is when forceps or a ventouse suction cup are used to help deliver your baby.
Why you might need an assisted delivery
An assisted delivery happens in about one in eight births, and can be because:
- there are concerns about the baby's heart rate
- the baby is in an awkward position
- you're too exhausted
Forceps and ventouse delivery on the NHS website
Sometimes a doctor or midwife may need to make a cut in the area between your vagina and anus (the perineum). This is called an episiotomy and it's usually only done to prevent tearing or speed up delivery if the baby needs to be born quickly.
Around 1 in 7 deliveries involves an episiotomy.
Recovering from an episiotomy
Episiotomy cuts will need stiches to help the area heal. The area maybe painful for a few days or weeks after giving birth. Keep the cut and the surrounding area clean to prevent infection. After going to the toilet, pour warm water over your vaginal area to rinse it.
Pouring warm water over the outer area of your vagina as you pee may also help ease the discomfort.
It's common to feel some pain after an episiotomy. Painkillers such as paracetamol can help relieve pain and are safe to use if you're breastfeeding.
Talk to your midwife or health visitor if you have any concerns.
Episiotomy and perineal tears on the NHS website