As a mom-to-be, one of the things you might be dreading most about childbirth is an episiotomy. For those who are not familiar with this term, it refers to a surgical cut in the perineum that helps enlarge the vaginal opening during delivery.
Episiotomies used to be a standard practice for just about every vaginal birth. However, over the years, medical experts have come out with evidence of their limitations and risks. Some of these risks include infections, severe pain during recovery as well as prolonged healing time.
Like any side effect from medical procedures, they aren't always 100% avoidable (but we can sure try!). Here are some tips on how you could reduce your chances.
Understanding whether an Episitotomy may even become necessary
Before we delve into how best to avoid an episiotomy entirely let’s explore under what conditions one typically becomes recommended:
- Should both mother and baby face complications such as distress or high blood pressure levels.
- A difficult labor process after extensive dilation has occurred thus reducing maternal strength.
- Complications arise around shoulder dystocia - see below for more information
Fret not! There ARE ways you can help minimize any potential harm that comes from having your vagina sliced open— read on!
Work on Your Birthing Position
If Christ The Redeemer's statue was giving birth/ squatting looking down at Rio de Janeiro instead – do yourself a favor and look up studies proving it would decrease rates of obstetrics forcep delivery by 14%. Comfortability should also guide which birthing position because no amount of flexibility will make holding chair pose comfortable all night long so find what suits you best. So here are our recommendations: 1. Squatting
3.Give us another comfy position?
Keep in mind, the goal of this is to open up your pelvis as much with little resistance possible, making it easier and less traumatic for your baby. The gravity factor also plays a significant role You can visualize cumulatively how having grav(reity) on one's side in birth gives you an advantage.
Consider Perineal Massage
Another practice that can help prevent episiotomy - perineal massage. It involves the gentle stretching and massaging of the skin between the vagina opening and anus: Healthline notes studies have proven it decreased chances by 17%. You could try doing this yourself or asking a therapist who specializes in pregnancy therapies regardless! Not going to deny some prepping around any touchiness may come into play but hey, anything so far sounds better than scissors!
Take Things Slow During Labor
Sometimes rushes (pun intended) aren’t all they appear cracked out to be cliched jokes aside; slow labor has its exclusives benefits:
- More time available for vaginal tissue stretching
- Decreasing overall pressure exertion.
Furthermore, A more ‘natural’ birth centric approach like hypnobirthing encourages relaxation as opposed to high stimulation so keeping oneself relaxed during delivery eases both mother and newborn nervous system adjusts habitually towards their new surroundings! (But do we really need birthing classes for that? To each’s own I guess..)
Talk To Your Physician!
Vital yet obvious – The best way to avoid needing an episiotomy is simply ASKING YOUR DOCTOR questions about why they think one would become necessary… We promise textbook telepathy among doctors still isn't quite there yet, which means honest communication aids optimal healthcare outcomes!
Do NOT hesitate when speaking about any concerns you might have towards giving birth naturally versus resorting surgically; remember folks medical professionals are literally paid to inform these sorts of things^^
Above all else trust your instincts (and your doctor if its valid), but keep in mind that doctors might be quick to suggest an episiotomy rather than inform you about other safer alternatives. Be ready with questions: What are my options for managing tears? They'll probably focus on skin tear repairs or recovery plans!
Shoulder Dystocia - Maybe this is a longer discussion topic needed?
I know it sounds like high level physics terminology (cue the Albert Einstein memes) but don't worry- shoulder dystocia has nothing do with E=mc²! It occurs when the baby's shoulders become stuck behind the mother’s pubic bone and can threaten oxygen supply during birth. This doesn’t necessarily mean one should totally forget about reaching out to ask their physicians alternative solutions, potentially discussing steps towards C-sections based on particular individual experiences.
A c-section itself although tagged as a 'scary' option isn't always negative compared with more natural side of things postpartum pain levels also significantly decrease. Is there a reason you haven't asked your physician yet
There's no such thing as too much support, specifically perineal support which by inference, enables less need for medial intervention: Water or steam pads placed within current clothing or “doula compresses” have been noted to be valuable external tools aiding relaxation among nerve endings increasing pliability of tissue without causing undue tension.
Additionally, some personalized coaches will offer massages during labor utilizing soothing oils &stretching techniques.
Of course materials being used matter so verifying quality cloth and products before touching down medically is important putting hygeine factors in check hence ensuring high final over all successful delivery rates
In conclusion, When it comes to childbirth nobody knows everything-and every pregnancy journey IS unique- There may arise situations where we’re unable able to prevent needing an Episiotomy entirely; however reducing risks couldn’t hurt anybody! Research and information gathering coupled alongside transparent communication between patient and physician goes a long way, hopefully armed now with these five tips the journey to natural smooth childbirth has improved!
Remember resting to be just as vital part of preparing during pregnancy; why not use that 'extra time' indulge in ice cold milkshakes or back tickling instead would make for a nice change? 😉