An episiotomy is surgery to make a vaginal birth easier. To perform this procedure, a doctor makes an incision between the vagina and anus (perineum).
As part of our dedication to expectant mothers, Dignity Health Southern California hospitals offer complete care throughout pregnancy and labor and delivery.
For more information about episiotomy in Southern California, Find a Doctor online or visit one of the following locations:
Reasons for Episiotomy
An episiotomy may be performed if:
- You have a large baby
- Your baby is in an unusual position
- An instrument-assisted delivery is necessary
- Your baby needs to be delivered quickly
In some instances, an episiotomy may be avoided by having your provider apply warm compresses to your perineum and massage the area to soften the tissue.
What to Expect with Episiotomy at Dignity Health Southern California Hospitals
If you haven’t received an epidural, your provider will give you a local anesthetic to numb the perineum. Then, your doctor will make a small incision and deliver your baby. You may feel a slight pressure but you won’t feel any pain.
Recovering from Episiotomy
After your baby has been delivered, the incision will be closed up and any tears in your perineum will be repaired. You’ll likely be sore and sensitive in the area for several weeks.
To help the healing process, try these techniques:
- Take recommended medication.
- Apply ice and cold packs.
- Use a squeeze bottle to squirt lukewarm water on your perineum when urinating, then pat the area dry.
- Soak the area in warm water, such as in a sitz bath.
- Sit on a pillow or padded ring to take pressure off the area.
- During a bowel movement, support your incision with a clean gauze pad as you push.
During your postpartum checkup, your doctor will look at your incision and make sure everything is healing properly.
Dignity Health labor and delivery doctors offer a wide range of pregnancy services, such as episiotomy, in Southern California.