10 Things You Need to Know Before Your Episiotomy

First things first: what is an episiotomy?

An episiotomy is a surgical cut sometimes performed during childbirth at the opening of the vagina. It used to be a routine procedure during births but now is mostly used in certain cases where birthing is difficult.

It can sometimes help to avoid tearing and can even be lifesaving to Baby in an emergency. But, let’s face it, having your lady parts cut sounds far from pleasant. Here are some things you should know before agreeing to have your lady parts cut.

  1. Doctors may offer the procedure to accelerate a long labor when Mom is too tired to push.
  2. Consent is not always asked. You or your partner may have to speak up boldly if you don’t want a cut.
  3. Doctors may perform one unnecessarily for various reasons; for example, just to get the process over with.
  4. Though the procedure could prevent tearing, it could also make tearing worse.
  5. Recovery can be challenging and painful.
  6. The cut could extend much further than intended and into the rectum.
  7. There are two different types of incisions. Midline/Median which is done vertically or Mediolateral which is done at an angle.
  8. A midline incision may be easier to repair, but could extend further.
  9. Urination can sting after you have had one.
  10. Passing a bowel movement is also more painful after.
Episiotomy During Childbirth Delivery: A Visual
Ina May Gaskin on Episiotomy

 

Resources For Further Reading:

What You Don’t Know About Episiotomies Can Hurt You, The New York Times

Episiotomy: When it’s needed, when it’s not, Mayo Clinic

Avoiding the Unkind Cut, Parenting



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