In an assisted vaginal delivery, your doctor uses either a vacuum device (suction cup) or forceps to help your baby out of the birth canal. This can be recommended if you've been pushing for a long time and you're completely exhausted, or if your baby's nearly out but his or her heart rate is "non-reassuring".

If your water hasn't already broken, your doctor will rupture your membranes. The nurse or doctor will use a catheter to drain your bladder and if you have not been given an epidural, you may be given a pudendal block to numb your entire genital area.

You may also need an episiotomy, a small cut in the tissue between your vagina and your anus, if you are having a forceps delivery, to ensure there's room to insert the instrument. If your doctor attempts an assisted delivery and is unable to get your baby out safety and in a timely manner, you'll need to have a Caesarean section.