Cut in during labor

During the delivery it can sometimes be necessary for the midwife to make a cut. Usually this happens because the baby is in distress or because you are about to rupture. After a cut has been made, your baby can be born more easily. This is the advantage of it. But cut in during labor also has several drawbacks. Read more about cutting, tearing and recovery after delivery.

What is cutting in the delivery?

Incorporation means that the midwife puts a cut from the bottom edge of your vagina outwards. In the Netherlands, an oblique cut is usually put to the left (mediolateral episiotomy). Another way to sit a cut is right. Although with a straight cut in the middle the recovery is often more prosperous, the big disadvantage of this is that you are at risk of damaging the anal sphincter.

When is cutting necessary?

Cutting is sometimes necessary, for example:

  • When the delivery no longer runs smoothly.
  • When the baby is in need.
  • If it is necessary for the baby to be born sooner.
  • To prevent a total rupture (you are completely torn out to the anus).

These are all good reasons, of course, but some experts claim that women are often cut too quickly in the Netherlands. At some hospitals, the cut-off percentage is even 46%! While other hospitals only cut 11% of the women. For the time being, there are no clear guidelines for cutting, which is actually a shame.

The recovery is anything but fun and in many cases it is not even necessary. If you have this information, then it might be a good idea to look at this before you give birth.

Is cutting in painful?

It may sound pretty painful, but in most cases you will not notice it. If the midwife deems it necessary to place a cut, he or she will always report this to you during the delivery. If you agree, you usually get an anesthetic.

The cut is always made during the height of a woe. Since at that moment you have something else on your mind (such as a lot of puffing), chances are you will not notice the cut. After the birth and afterbirth you will be attached. This is also with anesthesia (which then still works). When the anesthesia is worked out you can feel a burning and stabbing pain that can last for a few weeks.

Tips for recovery after cutting

  • Rinse the wound regularly with warm / lukewarm water. (eg shower head)
  • Allow some warm / lukewarm water to flow past the scar (with shower head or measuring cup) during peeing
  • Place a frozen sanitary napkin or ice pack on the scar.
  • Clean the wound regularly by washing it with water.
  • Sit as much as possible on a hard surface, this prevents moisture accumulation.

Cut or tear?

Tearing happens to almost every woman during the first delivery, because the skin and muscles have never been stretched so much. You do not notice tearing as a woman because that pain does not fall in comparison with the other pains you experience at that moment. In 1 in 3 women, tearing is not that bad because it is limited to the mucous membrane of the vagina and the skin.

But it is a different story if the underlying binder and muscle tissue also ruptures or, worse, the muscle of the anus ruptures. This is also what obstetrician try to prevent by making a cut.

When you tear, you run an increased risk of tearing all the way up to the anus. Yet it seems that the recovery after you are torn in is much more prosperous than with a cut. It can therefore sometimes be better not to make a cut and sometimes they are sometimes put unnecessarily.

Avoid incision or tear in childbirth

Do you want to avoid cutting during childbirth? Very understandable and it is already very good that you are aware of this. It can already help, before you lie wide, to indicate that only a cut can be made when it is most necessary.

Also read: Treating attachments after delivery
But then you are not there yet, because after this it really comes to you. Cutting is only done if the tissue does not have enough time to stretch on its own. You have to give the tissue this time and that means you have to puff the contractions to postpone the pressing.

That will require a lot of discipline and self-control, but it will be really worth it afterwards. At a pregnancy course, they can teach you to puff away violent contractions. You will also learn how to relax your pelvic floor, which also reduces the risk of tearing.

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