Labor and delivery

What is an instrumental delivery?

What is an Instrumental Delivery?

Instrumental delivery is a type of alternative birthing method wherein a midwife or doctor uses instruments to help assist a newborn’s delivery. The instrument used typically depends on the situation, but typically includes forceps or ventouse.

When is Instrumental Delivery Used?

Instrumental delivery is used when a vaginal birth is needed but there are complications which might prevent this occurring naturally. This type of delivery is not recommended unless it is deemed absolutely necessary.

Potential Risks

Instrumental deliveries involve multiple risks, both to the newborn and the mother. Some potential risks to the baby include:

  • Facial bruises or swellings
  • Broken collarbone
  • Umbilical cord prolapse

Potential risks to the mother include:

  • Haemorrhage
  • Uterine rupture or cervical lacerations
  • Infection or fever

Benefits of Instrumental Delivery

Though there are risks involved, instrumental delivery can often help ensure the safe delivery of a baby. This can be seen in cases where it could be dangerous or overly taxing on the mother to deliver a baby without assistance.

If the situation necessitates a quick delivery or if the baby is in distress and in need of immediate assistance, an instrumental delivery may be the best option to ensure the safety of both the mother and baby.


Instrumental delivery is a type of birthing method wherein instruments are used to assist in the delivery of the baby. This is typically only recommended when there are complications that make it necessary. While there are some potential risks, it can be helpful in ensuring the delivery of the baby if it is deemed necessary.

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