For most women, a normal vaginal birth is the best and safest way to deliver their baby. Dr. Colin Walsh is an advocate of normal vaginal delivery and strives to achieve this for his patients. He has worked in some of the busiest maternity units internationally and has vast experience in managing both normal and abnormal labour. Although he supports vaginal delivery for most women, this is never at the expense of providing the safest possible care for mother and baby.
My friend’s baby was delivered using forceps – I don’t like the sound of this.
The best type of delivery for mother and baby is usually a normal vaginal birth. Sometimes there may be a reason to speed up the baby’s delivery – usually because the baby is getting tired. If this happens while pushing, then an “instrumental” delivery may be quicker and safer than a caesarean section.
An instrumental vaginal delivery involves the mother pushing while the doctor uses a vacuum or forceps to help guide the baby’s head to deliver vaginally. Whether a vacuum or forceps is used depends mainly on which way the baby is lying in the birth canal. Dr Colin Walsh is highly proficient in both vacuum and forceps delivery, has performed hundreds of deliveries with both instruments and has recently published a landmark paper demonstrating the safety of instrumental delivery when performed by experienced obstetricians.
What is your opinion regarding episiotomy?
An episiotomy is a cut made at the base of the vagina during childbirth. The cut is made on the right-side, in the skin between the vagina and the rectum (the perineum). An episiotomy aims to prevent a worse tear occurring naturally, one which may affect the sphincter muscle around the rectum (3rd degree tear). In general, women having a normal vaginal birth will not need an episiotomy unless there are concerns about the baby’s heart rate. For women having an instrumental vaginal delivery, an episiotomy usually has a protective effect and is recommended.