If you are like many California mothers or mothers-to-be, you may envision the birth of your child and picture a smooth, simple birthing process followed by a quick hospital stay and your first ride home as a complete family. Regrettably, however, many births are not this seamless, and in some cases, mothers giving birth may require additional medical intervention, such as a vacuum extraction. Vacuum extractions may prove necessary if you are having trouble delivering your child through a vaginal birth, but there are inevitable risks associated with this type of birthing procedure.
Per the Mayo Clinic, there are a number of different circumstances that can occur during childbirth that may lead your physician to recommend a vacuum extraction. If the baby is in your birth canal headfirst, but you are struggling to push the baby out, your physician may recommend a vacuum extraction. If you have certain medical conditions, including certain heart issues, your doctor may also make such a recommendation, and he or she may do the same if your baby is demonstrating an irregular heartbeat during your labor.
Regardless of your reasoning for having a vacuum extraction, however, it is important that you understand the risks associated with the procedure. As a birthing mother, a vacuum extraction increases your risk of genital tract tears, perineum pain and short and long-term incontinence. You may also develop anemia or experience weakening within the muscles that support your pelvic organs, which can lead to other health problems.
Your baby, meanwhile, also faces risks. A vacuum extraction can lead to infant skull fractures or intercranial bleeding, and it can also increase the chances of your baby getting his or her shoulders stuck during delivery, which can cause nerve injuries or collarbone fractures.
This information is educational in nature and not a replacement for legal advice.