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An episiotomy or perineotomy  is a surgical procedure that takes place during the second stage of labour. The procedure includes making an incision in the perineal area between the vagina and the rectum using surgical forceps. It is performed under local anesthetic and sutured closed with dissolvable stitches approximately one hour after birth.

In the past episiotomies were routine procedures, however, in recent years some controversy has arisen about the benefits vs. the drawbacks of episiotomies and as a result they have declined significantly in use. Today, episiotomies are undertaken for two main reasons: if the there is a risk to the baby and the delivery needs to be sped up and/or if there is a risk of severe vaginal tearing. This means most episiotomies are spur of the moment decisions and a last resort.

Now mums we know this information is a bit intense and the last thing we want to do is scare you, but there is good news, there are activities you can do to lessen your chances of needing an episiotomy!

Types of episiotomies

Recovering from an episiotomy

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