I just had my son 2 weeks ago and got a small 2nd degree tear, it felt better after a week, i only needed 2 stitches. I think the episiotomy would be worse, because its unnatural, and have heard it can increase the risk of more severe tears. Plus they can cut you more than what you would have torn.
I ended up having an episiotomy as LO would not come out. My skin was just not stretching and was really tight, even after about an hour of pushing. I was already starting to tear, however the MW judged the situation and thought that it would result in a 3rd or 4th degree if left. I had had no pain relief and to demonstrate how tight it was she ran her finger round LOs head and me and by far this was the most painful part of the whole labour. She did small cuts so I didn't have a bigger cut than needed.
A cut involves muscle so can take longer to heal, but a 2nd degree tear also involves muscle but can apparently heal better? I would have happliy been left to tear if it was going to be upto 2nd degree but until it happens you don't know if you will tear and to what degree. Who knows if I had have been left it may not have been as bad as expected. Where I am they will only perform an episiotomy if really needed and would normally leave you to tear.
There are lots of different opinions over this. Most people would prefer to tear as apparently it heals better....but you'd assume a perfect, straight cut would heal better? I know that most midwives choose not to do it unless necessary whereas a doctor will come in and do it straight away - I think because its 'easier' for them. I personally wouldn't want to be cut unless they really needed to.
I tore quite severely but would still do that again a hundred time before letting someone perform an episiotomy on me. The thought just makes me cringe.
I say let your body do its thing unless of course the episiotomy is absolutely necessary.
As for natural tears healing better than episiotomy cuts, it's generally completely true. My prenatal instructor gave us a really good analogy to demonstrate why that's the case but I can't for the life of me remember it right now! I'll come back if I do.
If you get an episiotomy you are 100% gauranteed to tear. Not all women tear in birth, I only tore with ds1 and not with my other two kids. Episiotomies where I live are only being done in medical necessity and not on request of mom.
I had a 3rd degree natural tear with my little one and was told i was at risk of being incontinent from both ends! Luckily that wasn't the case but i have been told that i have to have an episiotomy with the next baby as i will probably tear again and end up incontinent. Anyone know if there's any truth in this? xxx
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