Topic: Episiotomy
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September 25th, 2012, 02:33 PM
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Lucky Mama Lucky Mama is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Utah
Posts: 5,575
No way would I get cut unless absolutely necessary (you must have an episiotomy if you have a vacuum or forceps delivery). It usually varies from doctor to doctor, but the more widely accepted standard now is that is should not be done routinely.

I tore with both my babies (8 lbs 15 oz and 8 lbs 2 oz), but I didn't need any stitches. My first tore up toward my clitoris (sorry if TMI). It was not pleasant, but it was so small it wouldn't have even fit one stitch. My second, my daughter was a thumb sucker and had her hand by her face during delivery. I tore on the inside of the birth canal with her, but I didn't feel it at all. My midwife said she could stitch it up, but at it would likely heal on it's own fine. I opted out of stitches and never had a problem. My worse tear was from my smaller baby, so it's not always a size thing, either.

I think of it as why make a deep cut through ALL the layers of tissue to prevent a tear that may or may not happen (and may or may not go through all the tissue layers - some tears are superficial and heal up well all on there own)? Seems silly, IMHO.

Not to mention that you may still tear even if cut. Sometimes the cut actually makes it worse. It's like trying to rip a piece stretchy fabric from the middle with your bare hands. You can pull and pull all you like, but it won't rip until you make a tiny snip. Then all the integrity of that one, unified material is gone and it will tear very easily at that weak point. The birth canal is one, unified collections of tissues. It's meant to stretch and is actually very strong. Tears happen, but it seems you are more likely to have problems (with this birth and subsequent births) if a cut is made preemptively.

Plus, once you have one, you will likely tear along that scar every time and the scar tissue can make sex, going to bathroom and even sitting very painful (sometimes that goes away with time, sometimes not).

I would check and see if your doc does them routinely. Whether you want one or not, it should be your choice (barring an assisted delivery), so if your doc insists on doing them on everyone regardless, that would be a red flag to me. On something that has not been proven to have a lot of medical benefits, the choice should rest with the patient, IMO.

Wow. That was long!

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Last edited by Lucky Mama; September 25th, 2012 at 02:40 PM.
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