I really think that episiotomies don't seem justifiable. (*In VERY rare circumstances, maaaaybe.) But many doctors do/did them routinely! Some Dr.s have 30% or higher rates. The more practiced mediolateral (angled) cut increases post-partum hemmorhaging 450% and 33% for the midline (straight down) cut. It only speeds up labor a contraction or two-- not worth the many complications that are involved, like incontinence and sexual displeasure. :-(
Please know that there are ways to avoid tearing, so birthing with the perineum intact (or mostly intact) is possible.
Consider: Perineal massage/oil, kegal exercises, water labor/birth, NO coached pushing, hand on the emerging head & perineum, blowing air Os slowly, intentionally slowing down the crowning through concentration. Be sure to stay upright, move & wriggle your baby down and out. :-)
at 12:07 AM on Aug. 24, 2009