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Forum: Natural Childbirth


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March 9th, 2010, 05:22 PM
Caalypso's Avatar Veteran
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Sherbrooke, Quebec
Posts: 251
Hi everyone! I'm Stephanie and i'm having a little girl
I'm considering Natural Childbirth and i've been reading up on it, on these boards and the general internet. I have what may seem like a silly question. I'm still reading up about episiotomies and I was wondering, is this something you can get done if you're having a natural birth?
What are your thoughts on it rather than tearing?
BTDT momma's i'm all ears
Thanks girls!

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March 9th, 2010, 05:31 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 4,930
I have never had an episiotomy myself. From what I have read in the natural community it is not liked. They say that your body will tear in the correct spot or in the spot that has the tension rather than having a cut done in an area that wouldn't otherwise have torn. If that makes sense. I had a 2nd degree tear with my first and really believe it was because of the epidural position and the legs back position I pushed in. It pulled the perineum back and that is why I tore internally. With my second I hardly had anything. One tiny tear at the top and she was much bigger than my first baby and natural. I also know that if the doctor gives an episiotomy with a natural birth that they should be doing it while the baby is crowning so you already are feeling the burning sensation and the cut isn't quite so painful. And they can use lidocaine to numb it. In general though I am not a fan of episitomies from what I have heard and read.
Married 7 years to my wonderful Dh

Mommy to 6 year old Emily and 3 year old Lindsey!

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March 9th, 2010, 05:58 PM
laisydaisymama's Avatar Natural Birth Junkie
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 22,043
yes you CAN have one, I would definitely prefer to tear naturally though. I had it explained to me SO wonderfully once that it stuck with me for a long time.

there are 2 problems with an episiotomy, 1 being that a cut may go MUCH deeper than a tear would, and 2, if they don't cut enough, you will tear at the end of the cut.

the way it was explained to me is- take a washcloth, grab the side, and pull it as hard as you possibly can. try everything within you to tear this washcloth apart by puling it and stretching it. The amount of force it would take to tear it is probably more than you can muster right? Now take a pair of scissors, and put a tiny 1/2 inch cut in the middle of one side of the washcloth, and try again. What happens?

homebirthing, tandem nursing, cosleeping, babywearing, picky vaxing, cloth diapering Christian doula mama


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March 9th, 2010, 06:00 PM
moon~maiden's Avatar Cheryl~ birth truster
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: south eastern Mass
Posts: 13,088
Hi- welcome and congrats!

That was something I was totally against having done with my daughter, and still am, but I am having a homebirth this time and am not worried that it is a possibility. It is much better for you to just tear- although it's not a given that you will tear either!

it is a barbaric practice that is rarely actually needed- I believe if they use the vacuum though, they do one almost always.
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March 9th, 2010, 06:15 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bay Area CA
Posts: 19,074
The doctors were I delivered my first don't even do episiotomies anymore unless you need a forcep or vacuum delivery. I would prefer to tear naturally, much less chance of a deep tear that way.

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March 9th, 2010, 07:55 PM
PixieQueen's Avatar Hi-Tech Hippie
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Richland, WA
Posts: 6,038
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Another thing is how an injury heals, Think of how a paper cut, with smooth sides, burns and itches while it's healing. Then think about how a deep scratch, with jagged edges that can knit back together, you barely feel after a bit. Tearing sounds horrendous, but unless it's a bad tear, they tend to heal faster and better. And as a PP said, there is no guarantee you will tear in the first place. I didn't tear with either of my girls, and my second was breech.

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March 9th, 2010, 08:15 PM
3xCrazy's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,915
I have had both, a natural tear and an episiotomy (not in the same delivery though) and I MUCH rather the natural tear. Didnt take as long to heal and didnt hurt for as long aft delivery either.

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March 9th, 2010, 09:23 PM
Alison79's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 10,232
I've had both and found that a natural tear was a lot easier recovery. That said, I had barely any tearing with my first NCB and none at all with my second. With my first three I had an epidural and I think that really contributed to my having more pain later because I couldn't properly feel when to push/stop pushing to let my body naturally stretch.
Alison - Mom to: Emmeline (7/14), Augustus (2) Maximus (4) Eleanor (5) Reid (6) Evelyn (8) Lucas (13) Christopher (14)

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March 10th, 2010, 06:46 AM
Caalypso's Avatar Veteran
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Sherbrooke, Quebec
Posts: 251
Aw thanks girls, that info really helps
Love the washcloth example btw! That really images it all!
With all your experiences and what i've been reading, i definitely think i'll let myself tear!
Thanks again!

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March 10th, 2010, 08:15 AM
~ Christine ~'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 5,223
I've been going over this debate for a while now, and the washcloth example is what seals it for me. I actually cut a rag yesterday for cleaning and was shocked at how easily it tore once there as a little slit!

I've had episiotomies with both boys and and going to insist they let me tear this time around.

Forever missing our angel 8.31.07

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March 10th, 2010, 05:48 PM
LadyCoconut's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Georgia
Posts: 35,234
I always use the washcloth (well I say t-shirt, but same thing, lol) example as well.

I argued with my OB about the episiotomy in the weeks leading up to my delivery. I had to sign this 'state wide' consent form and if I didn't sign it then I'd have to sign it in the hospital. The very first thing on it said I agreed to an episiotomy, which I did not. I wound up having to sign the dang form, but I wrote next to the episiotomy line that I only 'agreed' to it if they included me in the decision making process at the time that it was 'necessary.'

During my birthing time, I was ready to push but the stupid OB wasn't there yet so I had to wait. By the time she got there and suited up I wasn't contracting like before but decided to push anyway because my hypnobabies had said you're less likely to tear if you push the head out without a contraction because then you can control the forcefulness. Well I only pushed for 8 minutes and my baby was born but the OB did an episiotomy anyway. Personally I don't see how one was necessary because she wasn't stuck like I'd been pushing for hours & hours. They also cut the top of her head when they did it.

At 6 weeks PP my stitches still hadn't disolved like they're supposed to and they pull and are uncomfortable even now. Being stitched back up was the worst part of the whole experience.

I REALLY wish they had let me tear if that was what was going to happen at all... the recovery from being cut has SUCKED.

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March 11th, 2010, 08:05 AM
Caalypso's Avatar Veteran
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Sherbrooke, Quebec
Posts: 251
Wow LadyCoconut, that's horrible that she cut you so quick AND got the baby's head!!!! I can't believe they did that!

After the hospital visit with my prenatal classes yesterday, I found out they don't really do episiotomies anymore thankfully, unless there's an issue.

Also, I must say your bub is adorable and has such a pretty name!

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