Episiotomy? Or no episiotomy?

Maria - posted on 12/09/2009 ( 19 moms have responded )

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I'm due to give birth in 12 weeks or so. I've been reading on episiotomys, and personally.. I am going to tell my doctor before I even go into labor that I refuse it. (It's a surgical cut, and doctors needs permission to make the cut.. If the go against a patients wishes, assult charges can be pressed.) In all my reading I've found that alot of studies have been done, and they have actually found that an episiotomy can actually be more damage than good! I just want to know what everyone elses though is on this. Please, no negative feedback. THANKS!! :)

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Jemma - posted on 08/10/2012

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Hi everyone, I'm a first time mum with a beautiful 11 month old son, I live in Australia and I would like to tell my story since the hospital I had my son at won't listen to me.
PLEASE if YOU have a feeling that there is something wrong then listen to your gut feelings.
I was 2cm dilated on the Monday and in lots of pain I went to the hospital with my mum and husband and the hospital turned me away and told me to come back the next day, we wanted a c- section but the hospital said that they were booked up for c- sections on Thursday,we begged them I didn't want an EPisiotomy and we wrote that down in our birth plan,weI knew the complications and I knew my body wouldn't cope, so I was induced the Thursday evening and started labour at 2 am the Friday morning, I had a 23 hour labour and I was fully dilated but my son was stuck in my birth channel and my epidural started to fail so I was told that I was goin to have a c- section BUT that was not the case the doctor decided to do an episiotomy without my consent, since then I have had corrective vagina surgery but I am yet to get my anus fixed,I tear every day I bleed, I'm in continuos pain I can't always look after my son and I feel so angry and sad that this one doctor has ruined my life and my experience of being a mother, at the moment not one will fix me where I live because I have made complaints about the hospital! It has come to the point that my husband and I have to move to get help and try and have a better life.
I am 26 years old and cannot live on laxatives and paraphin all my life it's just not far! Has anyone had this trouble please HELP

Lisa - posted on 12/16/2009

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Reading through all the different experiences, it differs between women whether you need one or not, or if it's necessary or not. It's your choice. But it's good that you did the research about it, that way if for some reason the situation arises where you might have a high degree tear that will cause you complications for the rest of your life, you know your options and what you have to go through. But its good that your husband will be there too. Just remember, when you're in labor you're state of mind changes drastically. You get kinda primal and crazy. Lol. Your opinion might change about something. You never know what will happen. I was dead set on giving birth naturally at a mid wife clinic, no pain killers or nothing. Then I went 2 weeks over and they had to hand me over to an OBGYN doctor. This doctor was really cool though, never did an episiotomy unless absolutely necessary. They induced me, I went into labor, and my opinion about the epidural changed. I didn't need an episiotomy. I got reeaaaallllllly lucky though, my baby was 10lbs and I didn't tear.

I think my husband was in more pain afterwards ( I dislocated his shoulder).

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I wish my doctor had given me one with my first child- I tore so bad and he had to use the vacuum on her. I have learned since then, and since your husband's going to be with you, that massaging the area shortly before birth helps a lot. Some doctors do get carried away with an episiotomy- I knew one that did one every delivery(ouch!) But make your wishes clear; maybe though say that in case of extreme need of one but doc needs to ask you first, then it would be ok

Samantha - posted on 12/15/2009

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I too had an episiotomy. Before I delievered I asked the doctor if she did many of them and she said no, she could count the number of times on two hands (and this is a very large practice in my area). I was confident I wouldnt need one, but when the time came she said there was no other way and to allow a natural tear could have lead to major problems (a high degree tear). I have a friend who tore naturally with twins and it was all the way to her rectum and she had problems for many years after that. I don't know which one is better, people have different opinions. If you are confident in your drs. abilities and after you have shared your thoughts, I would trust him/her to do what is right for you and your baby. Trust your gut and whatever you do will be just right for you and your family!

Corinne - posted on 12/15/2009

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Congratulations! I did not have an episiotomy with my two children, and I think you are wise to opt not to have one. You do heal a lot faster if you tear naturally, but just remember there are always risks that can occur and if the doctor thinks you absolutely need one then you should get one. The last thing you want is a newborn baby and a fourth or third degree tear =/.

Heather - posted on 12/14/2009

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I didn't need to get one, but my sister-in-law did. I would go on the size of the baby on that one. If you need one and don't get it, you'll probably just rip instead.

Jessica - posted on 12/14/2009

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It's a personal decision for everyone. For me, though, I will have one if I need it. I did with my last delivery, and although it was painful, my OB said it would heal much more easily than if I tore, so I had it done. I trust her advice.

Jennifer - posted on 12/14/2009

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When I had my 1st child I had an episotomy. It was really no big deal... lets just think about this; you most likely have two choices, you have tear and rip or you can get cut. Of course there is the option you won't need either, but assuming you will you have those two choices. My doctor advised me while i was giving birth that I was going to rip and he was going to do an espisotomy, I didn't feel and thing, it was painful afterwards but it healed quickly. Flash forward to when I had my son, no espiotomy, he was smaller and my doctor didn't think I would rip. Of course I did, but it was around the sides where the option to cut was not available. That was some of the most excrutiating pain I've ever been through. I cried for over a week everytime I peed. You are free to feel however you feel about it, but it may be in your and your childs best interest to have one.

Alisha - posted on 12/12/2009

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I had an episiotomy with my son and i am thankful. The doctor had to do an episiotomy and use the vacuum to get him out, if not for those two things i would have had to have a c-section.

Maria - posted on 12/11/2009

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Quoting Mackenzie:

I would not be so quick to believe that a doctor is going to always do what is best for you or your baby, in fact this rarely happens. Doctors do what is best for them; what will make the delivery easiest for THEM and what will protect themselves from lawsuits. That is why labor is pushed along and held to time schedules that most woemn do NOT naturally follow nor should they. Trust yourself and you need to be the advocate for your body and your baby



I agree. Doctors DO do what is best for them and their needs. I plan on giving birth naturally, with no pain meds. And I'm not going to go to that hospital until I absolutly have to. I don't want to deal with the doctors, and nurses and how they think things "should" be done. My body knows what it needs to do.

Amanda - posted on 12/10/2009

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From my experience- its best to have the episiotomy if the OBGYN isnt able to strech the perinium- I tore once and that was an awful recovery, vs having a episiotomy which was much easier. I would talk to your obgyn about his/her practices of streching the perinium area vs episiotomy.

Mackenzie - posted on 12/10/2009

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I would not be so quick to believe that a doctor is going to always do what is best for you or your baby, in fact this rarely happens. Doctors do what is best for them; what will make the delivery easiest for THEM and what will protect themselves from lawsuits. That is why labor is pushed along and held to time schedules that most woemn do NOT naturally follow nor should they. Trust yourself and you need to be the advocate for your body and your baby

Mackenzie - posted on 12/10/2009

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NO, don't get one!

You are completely right and smart for studying up on the recent research! Even if you tear, a tear heals ALOT better than an episiotomy does because it isn't a complete cut of the muscles and tissues and you are much less likely to retear along a tear scar thaqtn an episiotomy scar with subsequent births:) I am a little girl too and gave birth to ten lb baby naturally, tore a little only needed 4 stitches and healed up in less than a month:) You go girl! Good luck:)

Heather - posted on 12/10/2009

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When I had my son, I had one done. I trusted my doctor and I know that she would not have cut me unless a problem presented itself for either me or my baby. I had a wonderful labor and I would not change a thing! The stitches were minimal and they dissolved on their own. I was even provided with a spray to use for the pain (which was also minimal). Just my opinion, the doctors know what they are doing. This is probably not your doctor's first go round. You just have to go in there and trust that dr. 100%. I can promise you that if you have a dr. who cares about what they are doing, they will not do anything unnecessary and they will do only what is best for you and your baby! Congrats and good luck!

Becky - posted on 12/10/2009

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When I had my daughter 17 years ago I needed to have two of them to keep from ripping. I was am a smaller person and she was 7lbs 6oz......no thats not too big but also need to keep in mind that your body isn't always capable of streching as far as it needs to. I am not sure what kind of medical practices alot of doctors use but our doctors never do surgical cuts unless needed. After the first small cut she started to tear me still so the second cut was necessary. Short of have to have a sitz bath after birth and a few stiches(that dissolve on their own) I had no complications. You can't have sex for a couple of weeks anyway so that wasn't a worry and the stiches were gone by then. I know someone that refused to get it done under any circumstance and tore badly and it took her three months to heal.Her baby was only 5lbs 7oz. so it just depends on the womans body I guess. My sugestion is to tell the doc that if it is needed to do it but if you are able to get by without it don't( I don't think they do it if you don't need it) at least where I am from they won't but as I said I don't know the pratices of all hospitals.Goood Luck and Congratulations!

Maria - posted on 12/09/2009

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Quoting LaKisha:

When I had Dylan, I had a doula who was able to speak for me on my behalf because like you, I decided against an episiotomy. It's medically unnecessary...If your husband is going to be with you, make sure he can be your voice...also a warm compress will help with stretching it naturally. Have your husband or coach hold a warm compress down there as you push to ease the perineum (sp) into stretching to make room for baby. Also you can try a peri message about 2 weeks before you give birth...the warm compress is easier though...lol! I hope this helps you...


Yes. My hunny will be in there with me, and he is also against the episiotomy. We have both read deep into and have, like you.. found it medically unnecessary. (The doctors can still use forcepts and a vaccum without making that cut, and a womans body is made to deliver a child, without being cut like that.) I have looked into techniques about how to ease the stretching to make way for Gabriel. You definitly helped. :) THANKS!!! :)

LaKisha - posted on 12/09/2009

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When I had Dylan, I had a doula who was able to speak for me on my behalf because like you, I decided against an episiotomy. It's medically unnecessary...If your husband is going to be with you, make sure he can be your voice...also a warm compress will help with stretching it naturally. Have your husband or coach hold a warm compress down there as you push to ease the perineum (sp) into stretching to make room for baby. Also you can try a peri message about 2 weeks before you give birth...the warm compress is easier though...lol! I hope this helps you...

Dawn - posted on 12/09/2009

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Honestly, when I gave birth to my daughter, the Dr had told me that unless he absolutely had to in order to prevent tearing and further damage, he wouldn't do one. I came really close to tearing which can actually cause you to rip the area between your vagina and anus, which can cause major problems. I had to trust my dr on that one since I had no clue what was going on in that area while giving birth. My dr said he was seconds from doing one if she wouldn't have finally pushed through. It's a personal decision but it can be a matter of minor vs major medical after effects.

Amy - posted on 12/09/2009

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Well honestly, when I had my son, I had one. Before I got pregnant, I was 115lbs. When I delivered, I was 173 and gave birth naturally to a 9lb 1oz baby. I was so glad I had it done. If I hadnt had it done, my labor would have been alot worse and would have done alot more damage to my body I think. There have of course been some changes but I havent had any complications. If you dont need one then dont get one. I would definetly do it again. Best wishes to you and the rest of your pregnancy!!!

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