An assisted birth is when your baby needs help to be born with instruments that attach to their head. About one birth in eight is assisted. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Forceps look a bit like two stainless steel salad servers that fit together. There is a handle at one end, and the other end has two curves which cradle your baby's head. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The ventouse (vacuum extractor), has a cup attached to a suction device, and a handle to pull on. The cup fits on top and towards the back of your baby's head, and a vacuum is created within the cup. The cup is made of soft or semi-rigid plastic, or metal. The vacuum is created by a hand-held pump or a suction machine. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Ventouse can sometimes be the best option, as it causes less trauma to you and your baby. But for some births, forceps are more suitable. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ If your baby needs to be born quickly, forceps are often a better choice. And if your obstetrician feels a ventouse is unlikely to be successful, it's better to use the forceps straight away. This is because using one instrument then resorting to another, may cause further damage. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Most babies recover from an assisted birth very quickly. Though it may look worrying, any marks, bruises or swellings on your baby's head are usually temporary, and will clear up on their own, usually within a week. However, a blood blister may take a few weeks to disappear completely.