When you visit your gynaecologist for regular check-ups
during your pregnancy, you will (or should) discuss options to deliver your baby. During these discussions, your doctor could say that Episiotomy might be employed during delivery. Don’t let the medical jargon scare you, because an episiotomy is a simple surgical incision used to enlarge the vaginal opening to help deliver a baby. It is not considered in every surgery, but only when the doctor feels that it is required for the baby to slide out of the birth canal without any complications.
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During normal delivery towards the end, whilst you are pushing, your doctor might consider assisting you with an episiotomy for the following reasons:
Women who have opted for epidural during their delivery might not need more anaesthesia. However, local anaesthesia called ‘Pudendal Block’ is given in the perineum of those who have a normal delivery. This medication relieves pain in this region. Therefore, the mother will not feel much pain as the doctor eases the baby out of the vagina after the episiotomy.
Now you must be wondering whether the episiotomy will mean a big painful cut? Worry not! During episiotomy, the doctor performs a midline cut straight down into the perineum, between the vagina and anus. This mediolateral cut is angled down away from the vagina and the perineum, into the muscle.After your baby’s birth, your doctor will advise certain measures that will ease your pain and help the healing after this procedure. They are simple acts you can do in the comfort of your home.
However, to discuss the procedure of episiotomy well in advance with your doctor. It will put you at ease, which is most important when you are expecting.
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Have you heard the saying ‘A stitch in time saves nine’? No other adage can be better applied to episiotomy than this one. It is literally a nip at the right time that can protect your baby during delivery!
Myths The following myths associated with episiotomy as benefits appear untrue.
However, if you would like to avoid an episiotomy, here are some measures that can reduce its need during delivery:
Are you concerned that an episiotomy will mean a big painful cut that will take long to heal? That is not necessarily true. In case you have an episiotomy during your delivery, and feel some discomfort later, try these solutions to help ease the pain.
Do consult your medical practitioner for any such options.