Operative Vaginal Birth

  • Stephen O’Brien
  • Mohamed ElHodaiby
  • Tim DraycottEmail author


The rate of operative vaginal births (OVBs) is stable in the UK running at approximately 12% of all deliveries. OVB is in the main a safe practice when performed in the correct setting by an appropriately trained operator, producing good outcomes for the majority of mothers and babies. There should be a balance of risk. Instrumental delivery is safer than a caesarean section at full dilatation for the mother and causes less impact on future pregnancies, as most women will achieve a vaginal birth in a subsequent pregnancy. A caesarean section at full dilatation, however, shows reduced rates of traumatic birth injury to the baby. Despite the fact that in most cases the outcomes are good for forceps and vacuum assisted deliveries, these births still generate a considerable cost in terms of litigation when they are performed sub optimally, or when the baby is born in poor condition. All obstetricians require appropriate training and supervision to ensure these deliveries are performed safely in line with national guidance.


Operative vaginal delivery Obstetric forceps Vacuum assisted vaginal delivery Ventouse delivery Rotational ventouse delivery Kiwi cup Kiellands forceps Mid cavity forceps Rotational delivery Rotational forceps 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen O’Brien
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mohamed ElHodaiby
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tim Draycott
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and GynaecologySouthmead Hospital, North Bristol NHS TrustBristolUK
  2. 2.Academic Women’s Health Unit, School of Clinical SciencesUniversity of BristolBristolUK

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