Episiotomy Rates Drop
The good news is doctors are less quick to perform an episiotomy as in years past. A news release from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states research doesn’t support the routine use of episiotomy in routine birth cases. However, it’s thought an episiotomy is useful under certain circumstances. For example, in cases where the baby is stressed and delivery needs to be hastened, an episiotomy helps to widen the birth canal to allow for measures to be taken.
How to Avoid an Episiotomy
There are steps you can take to help avoid an episiotomy. First, talk to your doctor and let your wishes be known, if you’re against having one done. Make sure you eat healthy foods and keep yourself hydrated, as healthy skin stretches and conforms easier than unhealthy, dry skin. Practice Kegel exercises to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor so your muscles are strong for pushing. During labor, you can have your partner give your peritoneum area warm compresses to help relax the area so it stretches easier. Consider trying a different position to push your baby out into the world than lying on your back, if you’re able.
There’s nothing to fear from having an episiotomy. Yes, it can be painful and the healing process slower than if there no incision. However, knowing the about the process can help you prepare in the event that it’s needed. Talk to your doctor at your next visit about this procedure, to get all of the facts.