Ventouse Delivery - Long Term Effects

(54 Posts)
mandy1967 Fri 16-May-14 10:19:16

Hi All, I am hoping you might be able to help me or know another mum who might be able to provide some information. I have been doing a lot of research (when I can) over the last 13 years on the affects of Ventouse Delivery. My son was born this way in 2000. My health visitor at the time advised me after his delivery that he may be slow to crawl, slow to talk, walk, feed and may have learning difficulties or just generally be a bit slower than his peers. At the time I was not aware of any issue surrounding the way he was delivered, but it was only as the years passed that the Health Visitor's warning came to be true as each milestone was passed and he did not improve. My son is now 13 and every warning she provided me is my son. He is in a main stream school but has had a statement since 2010 and has constant TA assistance. Now I'm not saying that he wouldn't have been like this had his birth been less traumatic, but doing the research I have and reading of other peoples experiences it seems there may be a link to this delivery method. In all other ways my son is great, polite, friendly, helpful, but very immature, concentration very poor and just generally a struggle for him to catch up. A recent review at the school had his reading as age 10! I would therefore be very grateful if you could let me know whether your teenage son/daughter sounds like my son and whether the delivery method was Ventouse. Many thanks.

Scoobyblue Fri 16-May-14 12:44:49

My dd1 was delivered by ventouse in 2000. She fed well as a baby, was crawling at 5 months (much earlier than her peers), walking at 15 months (later than her peers who generally were walking at 12 months or so), talking appeared to be generally in line with her peers in terms of first words, sentences etc. She was always ahead academically at school and at 11 won an academic scholarship to a selective school.

I was never warned abt any potential difficulties associated with ventouse deliveries and really didn't have a choice abt it as it all happened so quickly.

Hope that helps.

Molotov Fri 16-May-14 12:51:28

My dd1 was born via ventouse in 2009 after a long labour (31 hours).

She's bright, sensitive, caring and intelligent and hit her baby milestones either on time, or just before (way before in terms of language development).

I haven't noticed anything relating to this so far.

clairewitchproject Fri 16-May-14 12:58:34

My son was born by ventouse in 2001. He has Asperger syndrome, but he's a carbon copy of my dad so I don't think it was the ventouse what done it!

I wasn't issued any warnings either so I wonder if it was another aspect of your DS' delivery - how long he was stuck, for example, - that led to this warning. Surely they couldn't deliver hundreds of babies this way as a first line of intervention if there was clear evidence that it definitely caused learning difficulties, feeding difficulties, and motor difficulties.

Youdontneedacriminallawyer Fri 16-May-14 13:01:49

My DD1 was a ventouse delivery. She's now 18, very bright and off to uni in Sept.

No-one said anything to me at the time about possible ventouse after effects - and TBH, I doubt they'd be allowed to use ventouse if there was even the tiniest liklihood of it causing problems down the line.

LocalEditorEssex Fri 16-May-14 13:06:45

DD2 was a ventouse delivery back in 2005...apart from an odd shaped head for a while smile she is fine. I was not told of any possible problems either.

capecath Fri 16-May-14 13:51:58

DS2 is not a teenager yet, in fact he is not yet 2.... but so far is way ahead with all his milestones, physical and mental, so his ventouse delivery has definitely not had any effect on him!! He did have a bump on his head for a while but that has gone now and his head shape is normal.

MrsBungle Fri 16-May-14 13:58:22

My dd was born by forceps after a 52 hour labour. She had to be resuscitated after a difficult birth. Not one health professional ever told me that she may have a problem in any area. She actually was way ahead of her milestones whilst ds who had a fabulous easy delivery has always been average.

Meid Fri 16-May-14 14:06:27

My DD, ventouse delivery in 2001, also reached her milestones ahead of her peers and has never had learning difficulties. I was also not warned of any potential problems.

She has always had trouble falling asleep which, when she was a baby, I wondered if there was a connection to the delivery. But she is still the same now so I don't know.
I clearly remember that when the ventouse was used the force nearly shot me off the end of the bed. I have no idea if that kind of force is usual in a ventouse delivery?

MrsMcEnroe Fri 16-May-14 14:21:22

Hi OP,

My DS sounds very similar to yours.

He was born by ventouse in 2004.

He has dyspraxia, glue ear, very poor eyesight and spinal problems. When he was a tiny baby he screamed for HOURS which I now think was due to pain in his neck/back.

Yes, I think the ventouse has contributed to his problems.

He's also funny, sensitive and very clever. He never crawled, but he stood up and walked (holding on to the furniture) at 8 months old. He couldn't read until he was 7 years old, and has only properly got the hang of it in the last year (he's almost 10 now). He can't use cutlery and his fine motor skills are poor.

However: without the ventouse, he might not have survived and I would have been even more mangled internally due to the type of c-section I'd have needed! There wasn't time for any warnings; he just needed to be born NOW, and ventouse was quicker than c-section.

Both his OTs and his ENT consultant believe that special needs are more likely to arise when there has been an assisted birth (ventouse, forceps or c-section), based on the children they've seen over the years, and it's something that fascinates me. I know many children with SN and not a single one of them had a "normal" (I.e. Vaginal, with no instruments) birth. I would love to see some research being done on this.

Of course, I also know plenty of children who had traumatic births who DON'T have SN! I'm not against assisted births. As I said, without the intervention, my DS would probably be dead. I think this should be talked about more though. I've often wanted to start a thread on MN about this!

Freckletoes Fri 16-May-14 14:24:44

DS1 was a ventouse delivery also in 2000 after a long labour, due to his massive head! He reached all his milestones on or before the targets. He has always been around the top of his year despite being a late June birthday. He won a prize giving award last year for achievement across his subjects. His sporting ability (interest?) was late to develop but his has just been to county trials. His dexterity was also late to develop but now he has neat writing. His little brother is showing exactly the same traits as him and he was an unassisted delivery. He still has a huge head! grin HTH.

squizita Fri 16-May-14 14:43:17

I know many children with SN and not a single one of them had a "normal" (I.e. Vaginal, with no instruments) birth. I would love to see some research being done on this.

FWIW I have worked with kids with SN and SEN and (there's a lot of paperwork) I haven't noticed they all, or even most, had an instrumental birth. Indeed a good proportion come from overseas where very low tech home births are the norm.

I also wonder if it was the time/distress which was why you got the warning OP? Certainly distress etc' does seem to correlate according to some studies.

Owllady Fri 16-May-14 14:49:14

Has he had any further tests to see what has caused his problems?

I had an awful delivery with my dd who is severely disabled, unfortunately. Nothing has ever shown up on her brain scans though

DownstairsMixUp Fri 16-May-14 14:51:43

DS was ventouse in 2009. Absolutely bang on all targets, I'd say he was well ahead in speech and things like that tbh. Very caring and bright to. haven't noticed anything.

MrsMcEnroe Fri 16-May-14 15:28:42

Yes squizita I was wondering that two seconds after I'd written my post!

mandy1967 Fri 16-May-14 15:28:50

Hi all, thanks so far for your comments. Answers to a few questions from your posts: I don't believe in 2000 they were aware that questions had been raised about ventouse as don't think any issues had come to light by then, I agree certainly wouldn't have been time for warnings and so on at the time. My health visitor (after he was born) was the one who alerted me to possible long term affects and as I said each one has proven correct in my son's case unfortunately. I distinctly remember her questioning his delivery and her reply being to advise of possible problems in future life. Where she had got her information from I wouldn't know, but must be something in it. As I said if you google long term affects from ventouse delivery you do get some conflicting advice but I would say the reason for outweighs the reason against it not being something to do with ventouse. Which has led me to start this thread. Unfortunately the evidence is not clear, definately not back then, which is why I thought I'd carry out a bit of 'survey' if you like and see what the response was. My son had all the test as they were convinced when he was 5 it was ADHD, he was deaf, partially sighted motor skills tested and monitored etc etc, I knew it was none of them but went to every assessment to prove them wrong and to refuse him being classed as something he wasn't, which after numerous tests and assessments it was confirmed that he didn't have any underlying issues. Thanks so far and I hope to receive many more comments to assist me.

mandy1967 Fri 16-May-14 15:34:35

Also meant to say he was born with a lump to the right at the rear of his head, which I was told was normal, but they did say it would go down in a few months, but was still noticeable at 3 years and can still just about feel it.

Also am beginning to think that it may have been down to the stress of it all, combined with the ventouse and lack of oxygen due to the length of time it took.

Might look into obtaining my notes re his birth, might make interesting reading.

squizita Fri 16-May-14 15:36:20

Where she had got her information from I wouldn't know, but must be something in it.

Be wary about trusting her - just because she was a HV, doesn't mean that much about her understanding clinical research. Different issue but I have a hard-to-diagnose syndrome and it caused many losses of pregnancy.
The well meaning, highly qualified nurses, HVs and even Jnr Drs often had 'theories' as to what I should/shouldn't do and what might happen ...which turned out to be utter rubbish and terrifying to boot.
Not to mention google. I found all sorts on there which tipped me into a spiral of anxiety.

If you want an expert, use google to find a respected expert on causes for low attainment in childhood and read their books.

RatherBeOnThePiste Fri 16-May-14 15:37:21

My son was born by ventouse in 1999, this is the first I've heard of such warnings.

He walked at 10 months, was bang on targets, although now as a teen is choosing not to do many things. <sigh> and<gin>

Timeandtune Fri 16-May-14 15:40:00

DS1 was born in 1992 by ventouse. I had never heard of it before ( I knew about forceps). At the time I was in no position to argue and was glad to have him safely delivered.
DS1 doesn't have any issues and I don't remember his delivery method ever being discussed.

mandy1967 Fri 16-May-14 15:46:03

It is strange that some of you have never had the delivery method mentioned at all after baby was born. I remember clearly every doctors appointment, assessment, health visitor etc looking at my notes and saying "ventouse delivery, any issues yet"? each time! This went on at least until he was about 7 or 8, while they were trying to assess his problems.

Chunderella Fri 16-May-14 20:19:33

Hi Mandy. My DD is 21 months and was born by ventouse following a long and difficult delivery, but fortunately she's had no issues. She has hit all her developmental milestones like crawling and walking at the very early end of normal, but has been quite bone idle in terms of things like feeding herself. I have a feeling she'll be late potty training too. This is just like I was at her age.

It's quite well known that birth injuries can lead to problems for the children. It wouldn't surprise me if instrumental deliveries were a potential cause of this, particularly if done badly- they're not the safest way to give birth. But of course, they tend to go along with foetal distress and very long labours, which are more likely to involve oxygen deprivation and/or baby getting stuck regardless of the eventual delivery mode. So if your DS has a birth injury, it could be due to the ventouse or to the problems that led ventouse to be necessary, iyswim. Or both.

I agree with you that it would be beneficial to have more information, though. Ventouse delivery wasn't really on my radar beforehand, I assumed it would either be a straightforward vaginal or an ELCS. I was quite keen to avoid a section if possible, but if there is a greater risk of development problems with an instrumental delivery and I'd been told this information, I might have refused and insisted on section instead. Fuck knows there was no way I was getting her out all by myself!

Claudiecat Fri 16-May-14 20:57:18

My son was born 2003. I had a failed ventouse and he was finally delivered by forceps. All milestones reached
as normal and talking from 7 months (he could say about 16 different words at 1)
I would say he has had difficulties with fine motor skills when younger and still not fantastic now but nothing major. Academically able and passed entrance to selective school.
I attribute difficulties he's had more to the fact that he had plagiocephaly which was never dealt with (umbilical cord was wrapped around his shoulder so he spent some time in the womb with his arm stretched up above his head) No one at anytime has suggested that ventouse could have caused learning difficulties though.

MrsPatrickDempsey Sun 18-May-14 19:55:17

As a midwife, HV and mum who had a ventouse 12 yrs ago, this is an interesting thread. I am not aware of any evidence linking ventouse with developmental difficulties but there are some studies based in the USA examining forceps and developmental outcome. A few years ago ventouse was always seen as the lesser of two evils (compared to forceps in terms of maternal and neonatal morbidity). I am not up to date with latest findings. The problem is any research in this area is always going to have limitations as the cause/effect can never be proved.

For what it is worth, in September my ventouse daughter started at a super selective grammar school.

skipshell Sat 26-Jul-14 18:27:57

Hi our son is 12 and is exactly how your describing your son ! We end up with a ventouse delivery in total chaos and our son has never reached his childhood targets on time . We have been fighting since he was 5 to get him help it is only now That he is secondary school that he is really getting any help his memory is terrible now they think he may have Dsypraxia
Which GP thinks is linked to his delivery !

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