Equipped for Success:

Confident Decisions with Instrumental Delivery

An instrumental birth, using forceps or vacuum extraction, focuses on safely delivering a baby when complications or challenges arise during the natural childbirth process.

The important decision to perform an instrumental birth is typically made by healthcare professionals, often an obstetrician or midwife, in consultation with the expectant mother. 

Let’s take a look at how the decision-making process unfolds:

Clinical assessment:

The healthcare provider assesses the progress of labor, the well-being of both the mother and the baby, and the specific circumstances of the labour and delivery. This assessment includes evaluating factors such as the stage of labour, cervical dilation, fetal position and the presence of any complications.


The healthcare provider looks for indications or reasons that may necessitate instrumental birth. These indications may include prolonged second-stage labour, maternal exhaustion, fetal distress or non-reassuring fetal heart rate patterns.

Discussion and informed consent:

The healthcare provider engages in a detailed discussion with the mother, explaining the clinical situation, potential risks and benefits of instrumental birth, and available options. The mother’s preferences and concerns are taken into consideration. If instrumental birth is considered appropriate and the mother agrees, informed consent is obtained.

Alternative Considered:

The healthcare provider should consider alternative approaches, such as allowing more time for spontaneous vaginal delivery, the use of pain relief measures, or the possibility of a cesarean section.

Skilled Healthcare Provider:

Instrumental births are performed by healthcare providers who are skilled and trained in the use of forceps or vacuum devices to ensure safety and competence.


Detailed documentation of the decision-making process, indications, informed consent, procedures performed and outcomes are essential for medical records and legal purposes.

Ultimately the decision to perform an instrumental birth is based on the need to ensure the safety and well-being of both the mother and the baby.

How can simulation training help?

Lucy and Lucys Mum
Using Suction Cup
Using Forceps

Simulation training plays a valuable role in preparing healthcare professionals for instrumental births by providing them with realistic scenarios to practice and refine their skills.

Close up back

Hands-on experience:

Healthcare providers can become familiar with the instrumental birth tools through simulation training. They learn how to handle forceps or vacuum extraction devices safely and effectively, reducing the risk of error and preparing them for real-life situations.

Close up front

Patient-centered care:

The decision to perform an instrumental birth is made in collaboration with the mother. Simulation training can help healthcare professionals make decisions that align with the best interests of the mother and baby.

Lucy and Lucys Mum Product

Confidence building:

By practicing in a controlled environment, healthcare providers who have undergone simulation training tend to have greater confidence when performing instrumental births in real clinical situations. This leads to improved patient outcomes and reduced stress for both the provider and the patient.

The MODEL-med Lucy and Lucy’s Mum Instrumental Delivery Birth Simulator has been designed specifically to accurately simulate the tactile experience of using forceps and vacuum to perform a delivery. It allows the clinician to concentrate on the delivery of the head.

The design of the rear of the simulator allows the clinician to assess the placement of the forceps on the fetal head, giving students a better idea on how to position the forceps.

Training with instrumental birth tools can help healthcare professionals develop the skills and knowledge necessary to use these tools safely and effectively, leading to better patient outcomes and reduced risks of complications.