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Episiotomy

  1. #1
    mmec is offline Registered User
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    Episiotomy

    Dear Experienced Mothers,

    I have heard different opinions from different doctors in Hong Kong on the episiotomy procedure. My regular gynaecologists notes that she will not perform the procedure unless it proves to be necessary, but I have also been told by my friend that her doctor insists that she have an one as she is Asian as the chances of serious tearing is very high compared to westerners due to physical differences in size.

    If this is true, then I may want to insist on having one done. Would appreciate any opinions from Asian mothers who went through a natural delivery without an episiotomy?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Matty is offline Registered User
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    Asian mothers give birth to Asian babies, so there is no reason why you should need an episiotomy more than a westener.
    Most dr's believe now that it is better to repair a small tear rather than a full unecessary cut.

  3. #3
    MeowMeow is offline Registered User
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    I tore with my first one, and yes it was painful afterwards..I believe I had 2nd or 3rd degree..for this coming delivery, I choose not to have an episiotomy as well..of course, I hope I won't tear this time!!

  4. #4
    barbwong_130 is offline Registered User
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    I have had both an episiotomy with my first child and a second degree tear with my third child. I found the tear healed much quicker than the episiotomy. I was uncomfortable for days after the episiotomy but I don’t remember the tear giving me much trouble at all - the engorgment was worse!

  5. #5
    sophwillsmum is offline Registered User
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    I agree with Matty that Asians give birth to Asian babies. Mother nature is pretty clever like that and the majority of women, if left to their own devices can give birth naturally without the need for intervention. Also remember that your physical size has nothing to do with it. It is more to do with the shape of your pelvis. My girlfriend who is absolutely tiny recently gave birth to an 11 pound baby(5.1kg) without so much as a tear.If you want to know more you can go to the World health organisation(WHO) website for statistics. The rates of unnecessary caesarians and episiotomy/forceps deliveries are alarming and potentially do more harm than good.WHO are trying to do something about it.

    The most important thing to do is to remain active during labour. Once you are made to lie flat on your back(mostly following epidural) things will generally slow up as the baby's head will not be able to push down on the cervix very effectively. If the head is not pushing down then the cervix will have trouble dilating. If things become too slow, the baby will usually become distessed. This is where the doctor will usually step in and insist on getting things moving, either by performing an 'emergency' caesarian or a forceps/vacuum delivery which usually entails an episiotomy.

    The best thing you can do is arm yourself with as much knowledge as you can. Knowledge is power.Think of your body as like a beautiful new Rolls Royce. If you had problems with your new car, would you take it to the local dodgy mechanic just because it was convenient or would you do your research and get the best place in town? Be confident and stand up to your doctor, after all YOU are the one paying HIM and you need to be happy with what he wants to do to your body. If you are not, find someone who you are happy will look after your "Rolls Royce'.

  6. #6
    tzechuk is offline Registered User
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    I had an epi when I gave birth to my daughter.

    There are a lot of controversies over the issue. Some say that it is cleaner to have an epi, some say a tear is better.

    Next time I have a child again (big IF!), I am opting for the tear - my husband told me the same.

    Personally speaking, I think whether you should have an epi or not is a highly personal choice. It's about what you are comfortable doing - afterall, you are the one giving birth, it's your body, therefore it's your right to say what you want to do with it.

    Good luck!

  7. #7
    mmec is offline Registered User
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    Reaching a Decision

    Dear All,

    Thank you so much for the insights from everyone. Your replies with the "Asian moms giving birth to Asian babies", "Rolls Royce Repair Shop" analogy and the personal experiences makes me a lot more comfortable with my choice of not defaulting to have an episiotomy.

    Tzechuk - Your note about your husband opting for you to go for your next delivery without an episiotomy did ring a thought. There was a doctor who literally used the "husband would be happier during love-making after you recover" if you had an episiotomy because any natural tears would not heal as well to hve a "tight fit" feeling.

    From the replies, it seems that natural tearing may not heal so poorly as noted by this doctor.

    Thanks everyone! Your support helps ease my tension during this 1st pregnancy.

  8. #8
    tzechuk is offline Registered User
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    Ha-ha-ha.

    Go back and ask the doctor if he's ever heard of the Kegel exercise.

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