The birthing process can be complicated and involved especially at the point in which a child is being pushed through the vaginal canal and into the world. When the baby crowns, the head can exit quickly or stretch the vaginal opening beyond its natural capabilities.
This can lead to tearing and stretching that result in the need for an episiotomy. An episiotomy is an incision at the vaginal opening in order to increase the amount of space through which the baby can pass. Following the cut, the incision will be sewn, allowing it to heal. This process can be something that an expectant mother wishes to avoid. When this is the case, there are ways to help avoid its occurrence.
Why avoid an episiotomy
There are several different reasons that a mother may want to avoid an episiotomy. The first is because the mother simply may not want to have an additional cut into their vaginal region. This can be a personal choice and a doctor may agree, bearing in mind that the health of a child or mother is not in any sort of harm.
Another popular reason that episiotomies are avoided is because of the increased healing time that results. After childbirth, the reproductive organs and external structures of the mother go through change and take time to heal. Having an incision in that same region can add to the pain and discomfort post birth as well as increase the amount of time necessary to heal successfully. It can also cause discomfort during post-birth urination and defecation as well.
How to avoid an episiotomy
There are several ways that a mother can put herself in position to best avoid an episiotomy. One of the ways in which this can be accomplished is through a discussion with the doctor who will be delivering the baby into the world. If a woman is adamant about not being cut, the obstetrician is better in a position to help guide her through the process to lower the chance that it is necessary to do so.
They may also allow her to tear naturally, if this is requested but this can be just as painful in healing as well. Another way to avoid an episiotomy is to prepare the body to have the best possible chance at delivering successfully on its own.
This includes eating healthily and also exercising, which helps the labor process. Kegel exercises that strengthen the labor floor and help the body to naturally open the vagina up can also be helpful in the process of avoidance as well. Ultimately, though, it is important for a mother to be prepared that they may have to have the cut in order to deliver successfully.
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