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Ventouse delivery and turning babies head?

(26 Posts)
Nannaali Tue 14-Jan-20 13:46:49

Hi has anyone’s grandchild been born with a ventouse cap and had its head turned during the procedure.
Baby was not coming out as the head was turned on the side and so suction cap applied, and apparently they turned the head with that. Not heard of this before and wondered if any gran had experienced it with their grandchildren ?
Thanks.. suppose just want reassuring it’s normal thing for them to do. The baby was big too.

MawB Tue 14-Jan-20 13:51:30

DD3 had a ventouse delivery which came as a shock after a “hypnobirthing “ labour, smelly candles and a playlist.
I am glad I didn’t know about it at the time and, bless her, she did marvellously.
DGS has had a couple of cranial osteopathy appointments since then (now 9 months) and he was absolutely fine.
Eye-watering for me when I heard about it though but presumably an alternative to forceps and less damaging to mum?
Congratulations to you all 👶!

SueDonim Tue 14-Jan-20 13:52:38

One of my GC was born by ventouse. It’s a common procedure and a safer alternative to forceps. Basically, they hoover out the baby!

Best wishes to mum and baby! smile

GrandmaJan Tue 14-Jan-20 13:55:35

I’m a midwife and this is a common procedure and as MawB has said much better all round than forceps in my opinion. Congratulations to you all.

Nannaali Tue 14-Jan-20 13:56:18

Thanks MawB
I’m presuming he didn’t need a head turn?
Also were cranial osteopathic appointments scans? We’re they to check things after the ventouse or because they had a few worries re development...or are the routine for all babies..
Basically I suppose what I’m asking is why he had the cranial appointments?

Nannaali Tue 14-Jan-20 13:59:10

Thanks grandmajan
Is it normal ..ok to turn the head with the ventouse cap though? That’s the bit I’m worried about really.
Thanks sueDonim too...

GrannyLaine Tue 14-Jan-20 14:02:29

Nannaali rotation of the head is part of the normal mechanism of labour whether spontaneous or assisted. Ventouse delivery simply helps the process along as GrandmaJan says

Greenfinch Tue 14-Jan-20 14:03:14

I had a ventouse delivery with my firstborn because he was transverse. He had to be in special care for two days because these babies often have headaches I was told.After that he was fine.

Yennifer Tue 14-Jan-20 14:04:52

I've had forceps and I've heard that ventouse is much kinder. I nearly had it with my second but as he was a tiny bump I actually got to see him turn himself lol he was face up at first, that was a bizarre sight x

Oopsminty Tue 14-Jan-20 14:05:26

Perfectly normal! And a great help.

So much better than those ghastly forceps

I have 2 granddaughters who came into the world this way

No damage, no trauma.


Oh and I believe, ( could be wrong) that big babies are more prone to needing that little bit of help.

MawB Tue 14-Jan-20 14:05:46

Oh yes Nannaali but even this sounds preferable to DD2’s method of “turning” her baby who was “back to back” - despite over 36 hours of full on Labour she “danced him round” - about two hours I believe.

MawB Tue 14-Jan-20 14:07:56

No not scans, just osteopathy sessions.
He may have had a scan after birth though, I know they took him back to Whipps Cross more than once in his first week. Reassuring to know they were keeping an eye on him.

GrannyLaine Tue 14-Jan-20 14:08:09

Very much depends on how strong the contractions are Oopsminty More about mechanics than size of baby.

SueDonim Tue 14-Jan-20 14:08:25

Yes, it can be part of the procedure to turn the head. When babies are being born, the head normally rotates to facilitate passing through the narrowest part of the birth canal. If that doesn’t happen, the baby is then stuck in an awkward position and either can’t be born or will cause terrible damage to the mother. Gently turning the head to the correct, downward facing position allows it to be born safely and with as little damage to the mother as possible.

Cranial osteopathy is an alternative therapy, not a scan or a medical procedure. Some babies may be irritable after a ventouse delivery (do the poor things have a headache?) and some people feel that gently manipulating the head and neck can make the baby feel more comfortable. It’s not an NHS thing, you find a private practitioner.

Nannaali Tue 14-Jan-20 14:11:38

Thanks everyone.. she was taken to theatre and they all scrubbed up in case she needed a ceasian ..He had been coming along fine but then the head was stuck . They gave her a spinal block so she had no feeling from waist down and then did ventouse with a kiwi cap.
Reading a bit online sort of suggested to me that you can turn head with forceps but shouldn’t with ventouse.
That’s when I became conserned.
He looks fine physically but is quite sleepy baby .
I remember my two own children being alert babies and crying quite alot, so in comparison my grandchild seems very quiet and sleepy .
Just me worrying I hope.. it is my first grandchild...
Thanks for all advice etc...

Greenfinch Tue 14-Jan-20 14:11:47

Interesting thread. I had never heard of anyone else having it especially 45 years ago. Mine was a big baby but I think it was the position that determined it. I had an epidural so didn't feel any discomfort.

Sar53 Tue 14-Jan-20 15:00:00

My first daughter, now 43, was a big baby, 9lbs 14 1/2 ozs. I was in labour for 24 hours, couldn't push her out, she got stuck and was eventually born with forceps and a ventouse. She ended up with a large haematoma on her head and a very odd shaped head. It took a few days for her head to look as it should but she was fine.
I believe ventouse is preferable to forceps these days.

agnurse Tue 14-Jan-20 15:10:21

Babies who have been born with Ventouse assistance are at risk of developing something called a subgaleal hemorrhage - bleeding underneath the connective tissue on top of the scalp. We have to watch them more closely to ensure that if this happens, it's caught early.

I've seen a number of Ventouse births and thankfully have never seen a subgaleal hemorrhage.

Grammaretto Tue 14-Jan-20 15:11:50

DGS, her firstborn was ventouse delivery. I had never heard of it before. He wasn't large but his mum is petite. He had a pointy head for a while but now he is 12 yrs old, top of the class, a perfect specimen! and I am not biased

MawB Tue 14-Jan-20 15:17:49

Cranial osteopathy is an alternative therapy, not a scan or a medical procedure. Some babies may be irritable after a ventouse delivery (do the poor things have a headache?) and some people feel that gently manipulating the head and neck can make the baby feel more comfortable. It’s not an NHS thing, you find a private practitioner
Thanks Suedonim I hadn’t liked to show my ignorance so when they told me I just nodded sagely grin .

SueDonim Tue 14-Jan-20 16:51:30

MawB! grin

As far as I can see from Dr Google, ventouse can be used to rotate a baby’s head depending on which type of cap is used. I’m sure the obstetrician will have used the most suitable for that particular delivery.

My GC did have a large swelling and bruise on his head but it resolved itself. He’s a happy and bright 5yo now!

JackyB Tue 14-Jan-20 16:55:37

My DS1 (born in 1982) was delivered by ventouse. He had a haematome on his head afterwards, as you would if you put anything with suction force on your own skin.

However, I can't imagine how it gets enough purchase to move the head, let alone turn it, and certainly not in the birth canal.

Pictures of James Herriot up to his elbows in a cow, trying to turn the calf round the right way, come to mind.

And how can they be sure they've not locked on to the fontanella?

I was delivered by forceps in 1954.

Suki70 Tue 14-Jan-20 17:09:50

My second child, born in 1973, was delivered by ventouse.The doctor told my husband it was 'just like plunging a sink'.
Being at the other end, I was not impressed by that remark!

3dognight Tue 14-Jan-20 17:16:00

My daughter was born by ventouse, she was breech and six weeks early. It was an horrendous experience for us both I think.

I can remember her head was hugely misshapen by the ventouse, and she went straight into special care for a couple of weeks.

She was fine after a year or so, and no problems at all now.

She's a middle aged mum of three, and all born naturally.

GrannyLaine Tue 14-Jan-20 17:47:49

3dognight I don't quite understand your post - its not possible to deliver a breech baby by ventouse. You then say the baby's head was misshapen by the ventouse so not breech?