Vacuum delivery may be performed in cases where there is a prolonged second stage of labor or suspicion of immediate or potential fetal compromise. This procedure assists delivery by helping to move the baby through the birth canal.
The vacuum cap is a simple device that is placed on the vertex of the head with a small hand-held vacuum pump; some physicians leave the vacuum on between contractions and some release the vacuum. The caps are set to pop off if the vacuum pressure is too high.
This procedure works with the uterine contractions, gently assisting and guiding the fetus out during contractions, and resting between them. It is not used between contractions.