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Old 03-03-2011, 06:29 AM   #21
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Re: episiotomy vs tearing... which is "better"?

In general, unless you are severely tearing towards your urethra/clitoris, it is almost always going to be better to tear naturally.

When we took Bradley courses, this is one of the things we were taught.

When you get an episiotomy, you can get cut much more than your body would have torn naturally. So, you may get cut deeply, but if you'd torn it would have only been very superficial. Or, you may get a 1 inch cut, but if you'd torn, you would have only torn 1/4 of an inch. KWIM?

I tore superficially with my DD, including one 1st degree tear on my labia.

W/my DS I tore a little more severely (he was nearly 2 lbs bigger than DD). I tore up towards my urethra and clitoris, but the tear was TINY - maybe 1/4 an inch? - and did not actually tear INTO the important parts. I had a second degree (maybe 3rd degree, can't remember) tear internally, also small - an inch or less. And I also had tearing on my labia.

I declined any stitches both times and healed quickly and easily.

I DID have discomfort, mostly from the internal tear more than anything else. But I still would not have opted for stitches.

Personally, I would be LIVID if someone gave me an epi w/o my consent, and I would never consent to one except under really extreme circumstances.

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Old 03-03-2011, 07:14 AM   #22
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Re: episiotomy vs tearing... which is "better"?

I hope that this hasn't been posted yet- it's a great post about how NOT to tear, which is really the best of all of the options

http://wonderfullymadebelliesandbabi...ou-rather.html
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Old 03-03-2011, 07:22 AM   #23
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Re: episiotomy vs tearing... which is "better"?

With my 1st I had no tearing or episiotomy. My second I did have an episiotomoy in an effort to get her out quickly and it definitely wasn't as bad as I thought it would be but also it was something I would much rather avoid. I would much rather take the chance and tear than have an unnecessary episiotomy and stitches, after all there is really no way of knowing if you will tear or not.
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:06 AM   #24
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Re: episiotomy vs tearing... which is "better"?

My first birth I had an episiotomy. I was so terrified that my second birth would tear open the episiotomy scar since I had read it is common. I did massage and stretching of that area for the month leading up to my second birth and everyone was shocked that I didn't have any tearing! Not even a tiny bit! The recovery after birth was SO much easier. So, while I can't say which of the two is better, I know I will not purposefully cause a wound in my neither regions by getting an episiotomy again!
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:08 AM   #25
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Re: episiotomy vs tearing... which is "better"?

I had an epi for my first one. Took forever for it to heal, and it never healed right!!! Sex would rip it slightly all the time. I hated it. My second child came rather quick! He gave me the needle to numb the area getting it ready for an epi, but my pushing was too strong, and out popped baby before he could grab the sissors! LOL! Along came #3. She was early. Smaller than the other 2 also. Same dr, but this time, he knew I was more natural and respected me. He tried to stretch me, and said she was smaller and I should have no probs. She popped right now, but I tore all down to my rectom!!! I think it was because he was pulling at her neck downward causing me to tear that way. She was 2lbs smaller than the other 2, but I tore really bad. Took a long time to stitch me up. BUT, it healed better believe it or not!!!
Then, along came baby #4. I decided a midwife would be a better route for me. My baby came early, and I pushed for only 4 min. No epi....and she said I only had the tiniest teeny tear, and no stitching required!!! I healed super quick with that one.
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:09 AM   #26
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Re: episiotomy vs tearing... which is "better"?

[QUOTE=Tweedledum;12417197]I told my OB prior to delivery that I did not want an episiotomy. However, as I was pushing, she told me, "I think you'd better let me do the episiotomy. You're tearing in the direction of your clitoris." And then I was like, "Yes, please."
QUOTE]

The same for me except I was tearing into my urethra and still had a way to go getting DD out. It was only the second one my MW had cut in 9 years so I was pretty sure she really just wanted to protect me. I had the same problem with YDD so they cut one that time too. I must have weak tissue upwards which stinks and I am TERRIFIED about doing it again LOL! I have to say, neither episiotomy felt as painful as the tears to my labia and up. That pain was horrible! But I think it has to do more with the location of the tears.
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:20 AM   #27
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Re: episiotomy vs tearing... which is "better"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by songbird516 View Post
I hope that this hasn't been posted yet- it's a great post about how NOT to tear, which is really the best of all of the options

http://wonderfullymadebelliesandbabi...ou-rather.html

Yes this article is all well and good but for me - who is currently on her 3rd post-op week to correct anal muscle damage due to both my children being 4th degree tears - I disagree completely that these things will make a difference for everyone.

I did basically everything that I could based on my research to prevent tearing again with my daughter in Oct. For some reason my body tears... if I have anymore children it will be via C-Section - Doctors Orders.

Obviously a tear heals better than a cut , however, if I had to do it all over again (b/c my life has been hell for 5 months) then I would have had my second child via c-section. I wouldn't wish this situation on anyone.

Good luck to the OP.
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:25 AM   #28
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Re: episiotomy vs tearing... which is "better"?

If you imagine your skin is a brick wall, where each brick is a cell, a natural tear will only tear along the "grout" (I can't think of the right word, lol) holding the bricks together, and the individual cells will still be intact. But if you have an episiotomy, it's like taking a chainsaw to that wall and cutting a straight line, which will go through the bricks and grout and everything, damaging multiple cells in the process.

DD was 7 lbs 3 oz and I had a 2nd-degree tear with her, minimal soreness, healed fine. DS was 8 lbs 12 oz and I had a homebirth and controlled the pushing as much as I could (but the pushing phase was STILL only about 10 minutes even w/ that, lol) and had hot perineal compresses and NO tearing.
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:33 AM   #29
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Re: episiotomy vs tearing... which is "better"?

I agree with most the pp that tearing is far preferable.

There is also the issue that epis can lead to more severe tearing. Think of your skin like a sheet. It takes a lot to tear it. But, if you cut a small slit in it, you can tear it in two. The same thing can happen along an epi. The doctor makes the cut and your skin no longer has it's fabulous elasticity that allows for stretching, it just tears further instead.
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:34 AM   #30
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Re: episiotomy vs tearing... which is "better"?

I had a tiny little tear for both kids they said you could barely see it so i was lucky just healed right up
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