Writing for Adelaide Now, Ken McGregor reports on an ongoing inquest into the deaths of two babies - both delivered by ventouse - in 2006 and 2007.
He describes how 'the babies died of multi-organ failure following a "massive" subgaleal haemorrhage, which may have been caused by the Ventouse machine'. But even more shocking (at least to me) is the reason given by Melissa Sandercock (the senior obstetrician involved) for attempting an instrumental delivery:
She 'told the court that she considered delivering him by a cesarean, but because it was a public holiday and there were no anaesthetists nearby, she decided on using the Ventouse.'
Ms Sandercock, says she has 'since changed her delivery methods and now "prefers to use forceps" when a baby shows signs of distress.'
I am not a doctor, but as a concerned mother of two precious children and as someone who values the protection of my pelvic floor during childbirth, the experience described above is just another example of the type of unpredictable vaginal delivery that I chose to avoid when planning my cesarean delivery.
I felt that it was safer for my babies, and I personally didn't want to be delivered via ventouse, forceps or an emergency cesarean. And looking at the increasing rate of elective cesareans in Australia, I think it's fair to say that I am not alone in my thinking.