For years, almost every woman who had a vaginal delivery in a hospital received an episiotomy. An episiotomy is an incision in the tissue between the vagina and the anus, also known as the perineum. Doctors routinely performed episiotomies to enlarge the vaginal opening and assist the birthing process. Although not as common as they were in the '60s and '70s, it's still possible that your doctor may recommend one. Because of this there are things you need to know about episiotomies before going into labor.
I had to get an episiotomy with my first child due several factors including a large baby, the lack of pushing reflex due to opting for (AKA: begging for) an epidural, and most notably, the use of forceps to assist me in my delivery after my son got stuck in the birth canal. Those were fun times.
My episiotomy was pretty severe, and the healing process was probably the worst part of childbirth. Because of this, I asked my doctor to avoid cutting me if at all possible during my second child's birth. He agreed, and guess what? I only tore slightly, and my recovery was night and day from the first time around.
If you're getting ready to bring a little one into this world, here are some things you will definitely want to know about episiotomies.