Ep 78: Episiotomy – What It Is, What Q’s To Ask & When It May Be Necessary – All About Pregnancy and Birth Podcast
by Dr. Nicole Calloway Rankins

Episode #78: Episiotomy - What It Is, What Q’s To Ask & When It May Be Necessary

Alright, this is a really important episode  everyone. I have talked about episiotomies briefly on the podcast before, but today we are doing a deep dive into what they are and what you need to know about them before you go into labor.

Episiotomies used to be a pretty routine part of hospital births but their use has declined sharply over the past three or four decades. Thanks to some important studies, we know now that these surgical cuts to enlarge the vagina at the moment of birth should only be done in pretty rare circumstances.

In this episode I'll tell you what exactly an episiotomy is and some of the risks associated with it. We will talk about how episiotomies heal, why they can be helpful for a baby in distress, and how they compare with natural tears that occur during birth.

And most importantly I'll share two questions you should ask your medical provider about episiotomies before you are in labor. I also tell you about a couple things to watch out for so that you know you are giving your full consent before an episiotomy.

In this Episode, You’ll Learn About:

  • What episiotomy is and what it is used for 
  • Why episiotomies are no longer performed as a matter of routine
  • Risks associated with having an episiotomy
  • Why whether or not you have an episiotomy most often comes down to your individual provider
  • Some of the fairly rare reasons an episiotomy may be necessary
  • Two crucial questions you should ask your medical provider about episiotomy
  • Why consent absolutely must be received before a provider conducts an episiotomy

Links Mentioned In The Episode

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Keywords

Pregnancy, hospital birth, episiotomy, consent, doula, birth plan

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