May 4, 2005

Put. The Scissors. Down.

According to a newly published study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, episiotomies provide "no benefits and actually cause more complications." "'The evidence is clear: Routine use of episiotomy is not supported by research and should stop,' said Katherine E. Hartmann, director of the Center for Women's Health Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who led the analysis."

70 to 80% of first-time mothers have episiotomies, the report says. Since there are still cases where it may be necessary, researchers urge expectant mothers to consult with their doctors. I'm sure 4 out of 5 perineums surveyed will agree.

Procedure On Women In Labor Adds Risk: Study Urges Halt To Episiotomies [wash post, via tmn]
Outcomes of Routine Episiotomy [abstract, JAMA]
related: the journal The Female Patient is rather down on episiotomies, while a health outfit called, I kid you not, adam.com, is surprisingly upbeat. I wonder if they've ever had one. [NSFW, unless you work in a delivery room. via pennhealth.com]
Life/formĘ Midline Episiotomy Suturing Simulator, $114, or buy the complete set of three, including both right and left mediolateral suture simulators, for only $270.75 from Med-WorldWide [NSFW, or at least awkward to explain, med-worldwide.com]

10 Comments

With all this episiotomy talk, I got to thinkin: What if my wife and I choose a home birth for our next kid, and she requires an episiotomy? Well, like most difficult questions in life, the internet yielded answers.

Dude, aren't you afraid she'll grab those shears and go after your groin with them? Yeow.

Okay, ouch. I am due in a week. I did not need to see that. I will now hold onto my perenium with both hands and cry. A lot.

Dan Daddy, I know you were trying to be funny (insert vasectomy joke here), but "requires" is a subjective term. If you have a homebirth, you'll use midwives, and to be perfectly frank, they just learn how to get babies out without as much damage to the female anatomy as doctors do. It's a difference in training, nothing more.

Mom2B, don't freak. Unless your doctor is Dan Daddy.:) It can be done without it: 9 lb 8 oz baby, two tiny tears, recovered in a week. Statistically speaking you'll have a smaller chance of getting cut if you can stay upright as long as possible and avoid an epidural (easier said than done, but possible if you can stay up and moving around and off your back).

Chill lady.

That was a little rude and uncalled for, Dan Daddy. I recognize that you're just trying to be funny, but would you make the same joke about home circumcision? Have a little respect, if not for women in general, then for your wife.

Yes, let's all put the game shears down. And besides, the home circumcision comments should now go on their own page.

I will be using the simluators to deliver the big news to the DH and the GPs. Hilarious.

My wife actually thinks those game shears are a bit pricey.

OUCH!!!

ok, I know you are joking, really. that is bad I hope your wife saw you and smacked you hard, lol.

massage with oilive or grapeseed oil and lots of sex and BOTH OF YOUR orgasms during pregnancy and early labor will keep her elastic and warm compresses and upright positions and counter pressure when the baby's head starts to crown, not forced pushing, not pushing at all, you don't have to, that is what the contractions are for, so the baby comes out slowly will prevent tears and the need for this procedure and I use that term VERY loosely.

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