The ophthalmic forceps consist of two clamps that fit the child’s head. They are shaped so they can not squeeze the baby’s head very tightly. They are used as an birth aid, for example if a mother has no effective contractions or if a baby is showing signs of asphyxia, so it should inhale oxygen as soon as possible, to protect the head in the breech position (see abnormal position of the fetus article) or during premature birth or for rotating head in a more favorable position during the birth. Episiotomy is performed before using forceps in almost all cases.
The vacuum extractor is a device that is used more often than forceps, if a parent has difficulty during childbirth or if a child is at risk of being asphyxiated. It’s actually a cap that is connected to the air pump. The cap is placed on the child’s head, and the air pump creates a vacuum and ”sucks” the baby from the birth canal. The swelling (caused by vacuum-assisted birth) on the newborn’s head disappears in a few days and leaves no consequences.