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This blog is dedicated to empowering women to make healthy choices for themselves and their babies throughout pregnancy, birth, and beyond. My goals are to promote education about childbirth and increase access to care for all women and children. This site was envisioned as an advocacy and educational group for women to get information about current research to help them make informed decisions about the care that they want to receive, innovative product recommendations, and a support forum where women can share similar experiences. The advice given here is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice and I would always encourage you to seek the opinion of a qualified medical professional.

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Hands off my Vagina

The term episiotomy means to cut the skin between the vagina and anus in an attempt to widen the vaginal opening for childbirth. Many years ago this was done routinely on every woman giving birth under the notion that a cut would be easier to repair than a jagged laceration when a woman tore on her own. Episiotomies are no longer recommended and can even do more harm than good. Here's why:

  • A cut weakens the tissue of the perineum making it easier to tear into the rectum during childbirth
  • Increased risk of infection
  • Some women may not tear at all, so why not give them the opportunity to not need stitches
  • Studies show that women with episiotomies have a longer recovery and more long term pain with intercourse.
If your doctor reaches for the scissors during your birth, make sure you tell them "Hand's off my vagina!".

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