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4 answers
Is it better to let yourself tear naturally or have an episiotomy? I'm thinking if you have an episiotomy they cut you all the way through, it seems healing would be longer and more painul. but if you tear, it's only as much or as little as you need to in order to get the baby out. Any feedback?

answers (4)

From what I understand a tear can cause more damage to tissue than a controlled cut.  They know the direction and stiching up is easy and will hold together well.  If you tear it may be in a position that is more difficult to monitor or to stitch up effectively.  I don't think doctors would take cutting you lightly. Either way I hope I'm not in a position where I have to choose. :(
I had been told that a cut was easier to heal because they could stitch it up better since they were in control of where it was. It may be something that you want to talk to your doctor about. This was something that I wanted to try to avoid as much as possible and my dr had walked in the delivery room and was there for less then 5 minutes before he cut me so I would have my daughter. It was very long and painful healing from and now that we are expecting again I found another dr who doesnt rely on cutting as a first choice.. hope this helps some and good luck =)
You definitely would want a provider that will avoid it unless ABSOLUTELY neccessary! Tearing will do only as much as is needed to get baby out. Most providers (Most, not all) will pre-emptively cut just to make things easier.The recovery is painful plus, a lot of girlfriends I have that received episiotomies said that while the doctors stitched them up, they like to throw in an "extra stitch" to make things "tight" again and but apparently it is extremely painful when it comes to vaginal insertion when the time comes.
Some docs are definitely episiotomy-happy (probably more often than not).  So, write a birth plan and specify that  you do NOT want one - that you'd rather be manually stretched when the time comes.  Have the hubbs or other labor support person key in to that and make sure things go your way.   Also, you can do a lot by stretching yourself out beforehand.  Seems like the last thing most women think they want, but everything'll snap back, so don't worry about that.  It'll make it a lot easier - and easier to think about, as you'll know there's enough space in there beforehand :) Other than that, a clean cut definitely heals better, and the doc will always cut into the perineum (whereas some tears can tear upwards, into the urethra, screwing plenty of stuff up).  So, if totally necessary, do it.

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