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Absolutely NOT! I had one (4th degree) with my 1st (my 7lb 9oz baby) and it was more painful than my entire labor and delivery put together! Healing took weeks and weeks and I couldn't poop or pee without crying. With my 2nd I had a small tear (he was 8lbs 12oz) required just a few stitches and with my 3rd I had a small tear that didn't require any stitches (my 10.8lb baby). After my first I told my OB if he cut me down there I would return the favor lol.
Episiotemies are *usually* a bad idea, except in certain situations like the baby needs to come out NOW. Compare it to a sheet of paper, if you pull a sheet of paper on two ends it takes quite a bit of force to get it to tear, and even then it won't tear too much if you stop putting pressure on it. If you cut a slit in the same piece of paper and pull just a TINY bit, the whole thing rips in half! I have just heard way too many horror stories about doctors giving them without asking and then the mom ends up with a 3rd or 4th degree tear
This was ME!!! Typical story...epidural numbed me too much to feel anything at all, wasn't "effectively" pushing, needed to use the vacuum to pull my son out. She insisted that I "needed" an episiotomy to fit the vacuum. I couldn't feel a dang thing anyway. WORST DECISION EVER. I won't go into all the fun details, but just know that I tore more after the eipsiotomy and ended up with a 4th degree tear. Fast forward to four years ago this month and I STILL have issues. And at around 4 weeks postpartum I had to have tissue removed from the scarring and be re-sewn down there. I am seriously traumatized by that whole situation.
I had one with my first but only because she was in trouble and had to come on the next push or she might not make it. I figured a few stitches for me was worth it to save her life. With my son I didn't get one but I tore in the same spot since it was already weak. I had 3 stitches each time so not to bad. I don't plan to get one this time unless its an emergency. I will do what has to be done to save my baby . As I am sure we all would.
I ended up needing an episitomy with my first since he was stuck and ended up being delivered with forceps. My midwife allowed my to push for over 3 hours in many different positions and he just wasn't coming out and was starting to show decelerations on the monitors. He ended up being born posteriorly after being turned several times and the midwife told me afterwards, that that was the only way he was coming out.
I had no complications from it and did not need one with my second delivery. I needed all of one tiny stitch from her delivery.
It doesnt really bother me one way or the other, to be honest. I had a 3rd degree episiotomy and it wasn't that bad. Or maybe my memory of childbirth has just fogged over, I cant be sure, lol! But DD was taking FOREVER to get out and she was also almost 9 lbs so as long as it saves me from a c-section, cut away! lol!