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Comment by Amber Lamphere on March 23, 2011 at 6:52am
This video made me lightheaded and nauseous...but I'm still glad to have watched it.  It gives a vivid mental picture of what an episiotomy really is & how unnecessary it is under almost any circumstances! Thank you to whomever was brave enough to share this video! There is a reason there are so few videos of this out there, Dr.'s don't want women seeing this! Megboz I so agree with you! Pushed is a phenomenal book for cutting through all the bull that is regularly told to women to justify unnecessary medical intervention. I recommend it to anyone I can.
Comment by Birth Videos on November 13, 2010 at 5:18pm
Shari I hope for a homebrith for you as well. This video does induce anxiety.
Comment by Shari W on November 8, 2010 at 8:19pm
I felt very anxious watching this video - all the yelling, commanding, cutting. If I ever conceive again I hope to heavens I can have another homebirth.
Comment by MegBoz on November 5, 2010 at 7:45am
Good question. I've been part of a discussion on this on another forum with some interesting insights.

It does seem that some docs (& potentially midwives, so I'll be diplomatic & say "HCPs" - health care providers) actually believe that their cut can be better -despite the mountains of evidence to the contrary. They think they can 'direct' a tear to stop it from going upwards to damage urethra & clitoris. While I can see how it would be preferable to have a cut downwards versus tearing upwards, this simply isn't evidence-based anyway.

& considering birth in America is so "pushed" and RUSHED RUSHED RUSHED, I believe most hospitals put time limits on 2nd stage. Limits as low as 2 hours! (even if baby is doing fine). So the fact that episiotomy can speed up 2nd stage by a whopping 15 minutes or so can be advantageous in their eyes - even if baby is NOT in distress. (rolling my eyes at that one).

And since it IS easier to suture up a straight cut vs. a jagged tear, perhaps they assume that means it's also easier to heal from a cut than a tear (again, not true.)

& they have no legal liability for cutting. :( Even women who've stated in their birth plans & SCREAMED "NO NO NO DON'T CUT ME" have still been cut & they have no legal recourse!! The fantastic book "Pushed" by Jennifer Block included an interview with a lawyer who took maternity-focused pro-bono work. I think VBAC bans are some of the things she took to court. Well, she said she got requests all the time for epis without consent & she couldn't take the cases because they couldn't be won. :( Epis is viewed as a 'normal' part of maternity care, even though it's best not to do it routinely, an HCP, as far as courts are concerned, has a right to do it if s/he sees fit.

& that's saying nothing of how, with our culture & system, HCPs are more liable for actions they DON'T take vs. actions they DO take. Americans value intervention, technology, and ACTION, more than respecting a natural process, and sitting on your hands to allow it to unfold. So, again, an HCP doesn't risk legal liability for cutting, but s/he DOES put himself at more legal liability risk for NOT acting (not cutting.)

I'm no MW or OB myself, just a 'birth junkie' so for anyone wishing to learn more, I recommend cracking some good books - especially ones that summarize a lot of SCIENCE rather than parroting non-evidence-based/ non-factual "beliefs" of American HCPs.
Comment by Birth Videos on November 5, 2010 at 7:07am
Meg great information on natural tearing. It makes perfect sense. What I don't understand with all the research out there, why would you risk a cut in the first place? Why not just let her tear? Or is it because doctors are afraid a tear will suddenly happen out of their hands?
Comment by MegBoz on November 5, 2010 at 5:00am
Birth Videos wrote:
"but the research has shown that a natural tear is really no worse than a cut."

Actually - the research shows the tear is BETTER than a cut! First, the cut is generally 2nd degree (flesh as well as into the muscle), whereas many natural tears will only be 1st degree (just flesh.) That's what I had as a first time mom.

But more importantly, the cut is more likely to *extend* into a 3rd or 4th degree tear! (4th degree being all the way through to the rectum.) I've read the analogy that it's like a piece of fabric - if it's stretched taut, once you put one small cut into it, it becomes much easier to rip even farther.

Finally, while the straight cut may indeed be easier for a surgeon to suture, it's actually better to heal along a natural tear line - since our muscle fibers & skin don't really go in perfectly straight lines. The angles/shape of a natural tear are more conducive to proper healing. For example, my very slight tear was somewhat off-center & angled slightly out rather than dead center/perfectly vertical.

Amanda - I totally understand what you mean by almost vomiting. I had a profound physical reaction to this as well - my heart rate jumped to probably well over 100 BPM (and my normal resting HR is around 60) & I'm sure my blood pressure spiked as well.
Comment by Birth Videos on November 4, 2010 at 9:50pm
The labia is made to stretch like this without some doctor with scissors "helping". Many women do end up tearing naturally, but the research has shown that a natural tear is really no worse than a cut. The one thing doctors need to remember is that our bodies KNOW how to do this.
Comment by Amanda Dort on November 4, 2010 at 5:41pm
umm yeah, a firt time mum who is due in a couple of weeks and when I watched this Dr cut that woman I almost threw up. I mean, I don't know much about having babies seeing as this is my first, but I totally agree that he was yelling at her for no reason and I didn't see how that cut helped at all. I have watched quite a few other videos on here and a womans vagina is capable of stretcheing much further than her gave hers the chance to. And as far as that goes, I think it would hurt less to stretch it out then to be hacked apart!!!!
Comment by Birth Videos on November 2, 2010 at 8:33pm
Good luck with your homebirth and I hope you will film it. A filmed homebirth is a beautiful thing and much different than filming a sterilized hospital birth like this.
Comment by Andi Crater on November 2, 2010 at 2:16pm
I think that is going to give me nightmares. To be 100% honest, I am so glad that the births of my other two children were not taped, because I am sure that it looked just like that! HUGE part of why I am planning a homebirth this time!

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