Why do some women get episiotomies while giving birth?

i was watching a video yesterday of woman giving birth and i saw the doctor cut the woman down their while the babys head was showing..
why'd they do that? =/
does that happen to everyone when the babys stuck or something??
im getting scared now of giving birth =(
do the woman feel when they do that to them??
if its happend to you how'd it feel?


Asked by misty91 at 4:45 PM on Jan. 11, 2009 in Pregnancy

4 Level 2
This question is closed and filed in the CafeMom Encyclopedia.
Answers (47)
  • that is an episiotmy(sp) it happens in cases where the skin is stretchin too tight and will tear. if you are worried about it talk to your dr.

    Answer by ckmomof2 at 4:46 PM on Jan. 11, 2009

    Credits: 71 Level 5
    Votes up:0 Votes down:0
  • It's also better for them to cut it then for it to tear!

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:48 PM on Jan. 11, 2009

    Votes up:0 Votes down:0
  • Look up episiotomy (sp?) on google. They do it if you are tearing to control the tear.  They do not do it to everyone.  If you have an epidural you do not feel it. 


    Answer by Carajust at 4:48 PM on Jan. 11, 2009

    Credits: 1950 Level 15
    Votes up:0 Votes down:0
  • It's called an episiotomy and OB's should never routinely do them. A natural tear is easier to heal and a cut increases your risk of 3rd or 4th degree tears (tearing from hole to hole). Think of the perineum as a piece of cloth. If you stretch or pull a piece of cloth, it isn't too easy to tear although it can. BUT if you give the cloth a cut, then pull/stretch it it tears a lot easier.

    If you are giving birth naturally, you would feel it but it is NOT a necessary procedure. You can do perineal massages to help prevent tears and then during delivery put pressure on the perineam and give birth squatting or sitting to have gravity help. :)


    Answer by celticreverie at 4:49 PM on Jan. 11, 2009

    Credits: 20 Level 3
    Votes up:0 Votes down:0
  • they do that to give the baby more room to come out. some women's vaginas do not stretch enough to accommodate the baby's head.
    a straight cut heals faster and with less scaring than a jagged tear.

    Answer by flutterfae at 4:49 PM on Jan. 11, 2009

    Credits: 6 Level 2
    Votes up:0 Votes down:0
  • It doesn't happen to everyone, I promise. I tore, but I didn't even feel it. The worst part of the tear was when the doctor was stitching it up afterwards. He didn't numb it again (they had backed off on my epidural meds by then so I felt everything) and I felt every little tug of the needle and thread, oh lawd I thought I was dying.

    In some cases, the doctor cutting it is much better than if you tear on your own. Some people's tears are horrible, they can tear literally from vagina to anus. Some doctors do them routinely, others only do them in worst-case scenarios.

    But don't stress too bad. You won't even be aware of it if they do it and you'll be too focused on your pushing to care at that point in time anyway :o]

    Answer by caitxrawks at 4:51 PM on Jan. 11, 2009

    Credits: 3823 Level 17
    Votes up:0 Votes down:0
  • they cut me. i was pissed. i had told them i did not want that procedure done. they did it so i would not rip.

    Answer by thisloveofmine at 4:54 PM on Jan. 11, 2009

    Credits: 68 Level 5
    Votes up:0 Votes down:0
  • They do it so you wont tear, but tearing heals better, and cutting makes it easier to tear. Most dr do it without your premission anyway. :( Even if you tell them 100 times you dont want them to do it. You probably wouldn't feel it when they make the cut, baby is pushing to hard for the nerves to notice, but once baby is out you will, and the stiches hurt a lot to and it takes a long time to heal.

    Answer by lasombrs at 4:57 PM on Jan. 11, 2009

    Credits: 2950 Level 16
    Votes up:0 Votes down:0
  • Many Obstetricians want to be in control of birth, and they do not know that letting a woman's vagina tear during labor is much better than cutting. If you have a vaginal birth, let your provider know you would rather tear! That is why I went with a midwife, much lower chance of being cut!

    Answer by MonroeLoves82 at 5:08 PM on Jan. 11, 2009

    Credits: 0 Level 1
    Votes up:0 Votes down:0
  • I had two smalls tears when giving birth to my son. I was allowed to just tear naturally instead of being cut, and I just required a few stitches which healed nicely. I didn't feel myself tear, but that's because I had an epidural. I didn't even realize it happened until he was sewing me up. Discuss this with your doctor. Most doctors have a general philosophy on these things---- either they realize that a natural tear (in a lot of cases) is better than a cut, or they're old-fashioned & think that they should cut you if it looks like you may tear. Good luck! Oh, and really--- don't worry! It's not that bad, and you'll be too busy focusing on your beautiful baby to even care! : )

    Answer by heather.huckaby at 5:11 PM on Jan. 11, 2009

    Credits: 10 Level 2
    Votes up:0 Votes down:0