i never got one, i was a 2nd degree tear, which sucked for healing, but i am very glad he didn't "snip" me. it isn't really nessesary for normal births with average size babies. and tearing happens more often (so i read) from laying down on your back and giving birth. i've read squatting or hands and knees gives the baby an easier passage out. id say they should try those if possible first. just my thoughts though.
For some reason my computer won't load the article but the tab has the title, "Episiotomy, Once 'A Little Snip' Childbirth Routine Curbed by New Guidelines." I like the title! With DD1 the ONLY thing I requested from my doctor was no episiotomy. So when he showed up 45 minutes after the nurse called telling him to "get here now!" what was the first thing he did? Cut me. Fastforward 3 years and add a different doctor and hospital... My doctor didn't make it to the birth, but my nurse began reading my birth plan to the on call doctor as soon as he came racing into the room. I did have a 2nd degree tear, but I healed more quickly than with the cut. And I felt the cut, I didn't know I tore until the doctor said I needed stitches. I wish doctors wouldn't be so quick to cut.
i had home water births...no cutting or tearing with either child's birth. i credit it to the warm water and birthing on my knees. oh and a midwife who would rather stitch than cut :)
The only time I had an episiotomy I ended up with a third degree tear. Of course, that was also a forceps delivery.
My DD came really quickly. So quickly in fact that the doctor literally ran into the room and caught her as she slid out. I did have a small tear that needed around 10 stitches, but nothing horrible. She commented as she was stitching me up "I didn't even have time to cut your episiotomy!" I was never more thankful in my life that she showed up late. It was quite obvious that I would not have needed an episiotomy since she was born in literally 3 pushes.
With DS, I had a great nurse who did perineal massage until the doctor got into the room. Again, this doctor only had time to catch since my DS came in 2 pushes. I had 2 total stitches and a few tiny tears, but nothing serious.
I have a very short list of demands when I go into deliver this baby. 1) No pitocin unless it is a medical emergency. 2) No epidural. 3) No episiotomy unless my child's life is in danger.
This is what happens when you hire a surgeon for a non-medical process. It's almost impossible for them to sit and just wait. They have to be doing something because that's what they're trained to do: use a scalpel.
Bottom line, get off your back so your perineum won't be accessible, and don't hire a surgeon unless you want to be cut.
I never ever want one of these ever again! That's why I switched from an OB to Midwife and plan to give birth in the water.
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