Molly-Mae Hague reveals she had a ventouse birth but what is that?
Watch: Molly-Mae Hague shares details of her ventouse birth
Molly-Mae Hague has revealed her newborn was a "ventouse baby" in a new video detailing her birth story.
In her latest YouTube vlog, which she starts off holding and introducing daughter Bambi, who she and boyfriend Tommy Fury welcomed publicly in late January, the 23-year-old shares intimate details about the special day.
First addressing the type of birth, she says, "I called it a natural delivery, and a lot of people were in my DMs saying you should have called it a vaginal delivery because all births are natural.
"When I read that I actually felt kind of disappointed in myself and a bit upset that I'd not really thought about that. Of course, all births, caesarean, vaginal...they're all natural, they're all incredible."
Hague explains that she was all set to have a vaginal birth, before a caesarean later emerged as a possibility (hence why Fury can be seen wearing scrubs in their birth photo on Instagram). But as things developed (she went from three to seven centimetres dilated in 20 minutes), pushing was back on the cards.
Read more: Is it time to ditch the term ‘normal birth’?
"Funnily enough, I did actually film me giving birth. I have the best most magical video of me giving birth, and I don't know why I thought I could feel like I could show that online," explains Hague.
"That is the most vulnerable video I will ever have of me. To women that put that online and open themselves up, that is incredible."
While Hague has only managed to watch it back once with no volume and won't be sharing it publicly any time soon, it has helped her to see more of her type of birth.
"I put my legs up in the stirrups and Bambi was actually a ventouse baby," she shares.
"A ventouse, I don't know exactly how to describe it, but it's kind of like a suction cup that goes on the baby's head.
"And now I'm talking about it – I said online that I had a 'natural' delivery – there was nothing particularly natural about my birth at all, I had an epidural, I had loads of pain medication, I had a ventouse.
"Which means essentially, when I'm pushing Bambi out, my doctor was also pulling Bambi out. So a suction cup goes on her head and she was sort of – I can see from the video now – she was gently wiggling her out, and pulling her very gently as I was pushing through my contractions."
Because of her epidural, Hague says she loved the pushing as she could still feel everything and had all the sensations, but was not in any pain.
So, what more do we know about the ventouse part of her delivery?
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What is an assisted delivery?
An assisted birth is when forceps or a ventouse suction cup are used to help deliver the baby, according to the NHS. These instruments are safe and are only used when needed.
Assisted delivery is less common in women who've had a 'spontaneous vaginal birth' previously.
An obstetrician or midwife should discuss the reasons for having an assisted birth with you, the type of instrument and how it will be carried out, and it will only be carried out if your consent is given beforehand.
If you have not already had an epidural, you will usually have a local anaesthetic to numb your vagina and the skin between your vagina and anus. Meanwhile, if there are any concerns you may be moved to an operating theatre for a caesarean, if needed. It's likely a cut will be needed to make the vaginal opening bigger, but don't worry, this will be prepared with stitches.
Dependent on the situation, your baby can be delivered and placed on your tummy, and your birth partner may still be able to cut the cord, should they want to.
What happens in a ventouse delivery?
A ventouse (vacuum cup) is attached to the baby's head by suction, the NHS details. Meanwhile, a soft or hard plastic or metal cup is attached by a tube to a suction device. The cup fits firmly on the baby's head.
During a contraction and while you push, the obstetrician or midwife will gently pull to help deliver your baby.
If you are giving birth at less than 36 weeks pregnant and need an assisted birth, forceps may be used instead, as these are less likely to cause damage to your baby's head, which is softer at this point.
Why might you need a ventouse delivery?
An assisted delivery is used in one in eight births, and is more likely for those having their first baby (as many as one in three). A ventouse or forceps may be needed if:
you have been advised not to try to push out your baby because of an underlying health condition (like very high blood pressure)
there are concerns about your baby's heart rate
your baby is in an awkward position
your baby is getting tired and there are concerns that they may be in distress
you're having a vaginal delivery of a premature baby (forceps can help protect your baby's head from your perineum)
Read more: Joss Stone reveals her womb split during difficult birth – what is a uterine rupture?
Is a ventouse birth safe?
While it may sound alarming, a ventouse birth is a safe way to deliver a baby. But as with everything, there are some risks that should be discussed with you, including different degrees of vaginal tearing or a cut, higher risks of blood clots, and anal and urinary incontinence.
The risks to your baby could include a mark on your baby's head from the ventouse cup (usually disappears within 48 hours), a bruise on your baby's head (usually nothing to worry about and should disappear over time), among other things.
Afterwards, you may need a small tube that drains your bladder (a catheter) for up to 24 hours, which is more likely if you've had an epidural.
According to the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists, the majority of babies born with an assisted vaginal birth are well at birth and do not have any long-term problems. Having this type of delivery does not mean you will need one in your next pregnancy.
For more information from a personal perspective, visit healthtalk.org for videos and written videos of women talking about their experiences of ventouse and forceps.