An episiotomy may be required for first time deliveries, says KK Women's and Children's Hospital's Obstetrics & Gynaecology Department.
Pregnancy week 36
, women going through their first delivery may require an episiotomy – a cut that is made (sideways, usually) from the vagina to the surrounding skin, just before the baby's head emerges.
Your baby at pregnancy week 36
At pregnancy week 36, your baby is about 47cm in length and 2.5kg in weight.
Episiotomy: A small cut that prevents substantial damage
Like we've discussed earlier about labour, some complications such as vaginal tears may arise. This tends to happen in first time deliveries because the skin in that area is less stretchable. To pre-empt this, sometimes women are given episiotomies just before the baby's head emerges from the vagina. This is done in order to create more space at the outlet for the emerging baby.
An episiotomy is a cut that is made (sideways, usually) from the vagina to the surrounding skin. The reason for cutting instead of tearing naturally is because tears can occur in many directions and cause substantial damage. If they are ragged and uneven, they are difficult to repair and take longer to heal.
Healing from an episiotomy
Most of the time, the pain from the episiotomy lasts approximately 2-3 days, and healing will be completed by 6 weeks after delivery and the stitches will dissolve. Passing of urine and stools will not affect the cut although you should try to keep the area as clean as possible. Ice packs and medications are given to reduce swelling in those who require it. Stool softeners and pain relief are also provided for your comfort.