How to avoid episiotomy

How to avoid episiotomy

Before we talk about how you can avoid an episiotomy, let’s try and understand what an episiotomy is.

What is an episiotomy?

An episiotomy is a cut to the perineum – the muscular area between your vagina and anus. It is a cut made if your vagina cannot stretch enough to allow the passage of baby. Although it sounds very painful and complicated, don’t worry - it is a routine medical procedure which is performed to quickly allow enough space for your baby to pass through and come out.

When is episiotomy performed?

It is fairly routine to use an episiotomy in India in cases where:

  • You are a first time mom
  • The baby needs to be born quickly because it is distressed
  • You need an assisted birth because you have been pushing for a long time.
  • Your baby is large
  • Your baby is premature

How to avoid an episiotomy?

If you want to avoid an episiotomy, talk to your doctor about tips for the same at your antenatal appointments.

As your part, you can try these following tips to avoid an episiotomy:

  • Use relaxation techniques: Breathing and relaxation techniques during labor can control the delivery of the head, making it unnecessary for an episiotomy.
  • Maintain a healthy diet: It is very important to maintain a healthy diet so that the perineum and the vagina are healthy enough to stretch, without having to cut.
  • Upright position while delivering: Talk to your doctor in allowing you to keep an upright position while you delivery so that it is easy to push the baby.
  • Get a perineal massage done: A regular perineal massage relaxes the perineum and makes it more flexible and elastic, thus making the birthing process easy.
  • Regular exercises: Do regular exercises, especially Kegel exercises for the elasticity of the pelvic floor.

As always, remember to remain calm and not stress too much. Follow the above tips and remember that it is going to heal sooner than you realize, even if you have to undergo it.