About 1 in 5 mums, especially if they are in their first pregnancy, will need some help from their obstetrician to deliver their baby. This need could arise either because baby’s head is in a difficult position, or because baby or mum are tired and helping with the delivery becomes essential. The doctor usually applies a plastic cup on baby’s head and helps it to angle, so that the mother can deliver the baby more easily. During this process it is very important to know the exact position of the baby’s head. Using ultrasound before helping deliver the baby, corrects the doctor’s perception of the way baby’s head is lying in about 1 in 4 cases. This leads to safer deliveries for mum and baby.
Reference: Akmal S, Kametas N, Tsoi E, Hargreaves C, Nicolaides KH. Comparison of transvaginal digital examination with intrapartum sonography to determine fetal head position before instrumental delivery. Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology,2003 May;21(5):437-40.