At first I cringed when I saw this video was created by Always – great, another 'empowerment' video created by some ad turd (I say this with love as a former ad turd) – but it was just so well done. It totally struck a chord with one of my number one pet peeves – when parents, adults, people tell kids (especially boys) "you're acting like a little girl' as an insult.
Ahh, the episiotomy. There are some things about having a baby that just make you go: “Seriously? No, seriously. I so didn’t sign up for that.”
Here are the nuts and bolts: an episiotomy is an incision made in the perineum – that fleshy area between the vagina and the anus. It speeds up delivery because the vaginal opening is that much bigger. Once the baby’s present and accounted for, the incision is stitched back up.
If you’re thinking “WTF?” you’re not alone. But there are some very good reasons to have an episiotomy. Like, you find out you’re having a breech birth. Or maybe you’ve been pushing for several hours and you just…can’t…push…again. Sometimes that perfect child you’ve been dreaming about for nine frickin’ months pretty much refuses to budge and he needs a little encouragement – like forceps-or-the-vacuum kind of encouragement. Or very occasionally, your wee one can go into distress, where his heart rate shoots up or drops way down. It’s rare, but it happens.
In all those cases, your doc or midwife will very likely say it’s time to get the baby out and that means it’s time for an episiotomy. In all those cases, don’t hesitate.
But what if your delivery is chugging along just fine? Is there any reason for you to have an episiotomy? Doctors – and many midwives – used to think so. They were trained to think that episiotomies help prevent and heal better than more extensive vaginal tears. The procedure was also thought to keep the bladder from drooping and the rectum from protruding into the vagina after childbirth. (Yep, you read that right. Drooping bladder. Protruding rectum.)
Here’s the problem: there isn’t any evidence to suggest episiotomies do any of that. It’s now generally accepted that a routine episiotomy – not one done for any of our “good reasons” – does not provide any significant benefit, either right after delivery or in the months that follow. Some medical-types thought that recovering from an episiotomy might hurt less than from a tear, but that’s not backed up by any evidence. There isn’t even any proof that having an episiotomy will prevent your insides from ending up on the outside. Ain’t that the shits?
So how do you avoid one, if you can?
Lots of people recommend massaging the perineum during your pregnancy. Now, I’m all about a good massage, but studies suggest this is only really effective for first-time moms. There isn’t much of a consensus on how long to do it either, but 10 minutes a day from 35 weeks on seems to be a common recommendation. If you’re into it, I say go for it. It can’t hurt.
You can also try applying warm compresses to the perineum during the pushing stage of labour. This may help soften the tissue and make it easier for the baby to head on out. Some health care providers also massage the area as labor progresses.
You might also want to give some thought to who’s going to deliver your baby, if you haven’t already decided. Studies show that midwives do fewer episiotomies, while older doctors do the most. Weirdly, more episiotomies are performed in the middle of the day than the middle of the night. Maybe it’s because doctors have more stuff to do during the day so they want to speed things up a bit.
But the most important thing you can do is talk to your health care provider. Ask them how often they do episiotomies and under what circumstances. Remember, though, it's important to go into labor with an open mind. Sometimes things don’t go as planned and you have to make decisions on the fly.
Maggie writes. Mostly for advertising. Sometimes for environmental and arts groups.
When not at the helm of her ever-expanding freelance empire, she spends her time making semi-successful attempts at self-improvement. That may explain the decent down-the-line backhand and respectable shot from the point.
She is married to John Foote (dashing Emerg Doc) and has two shockingly tall kids.
She thinks Pregnant Chicken rules the roost.
Hey Guys, well I missed June’s Round-Up. Boourns. Sorry. So I’ve got a lot to fit into this month. Let’s go!
Summer is a wonderful time to frolic and run but it’s also a time when kids bonk their legs and heads so often they look like old bananas. The folks at Sleepy Owl Baby have come out with this Boo Boo stick to help those bruises, scrapes and bites heal faster. It contains arnica, organic lavender and tea tree essential oils and comes in a roll on container. They also make a Baby Gift Box that’s amazing if you’re looking for an impressive shower gift and you can order trial sizes for free right now.
I love this video “Reacting to my own birth”. His reaction is priceless and I love the relationship that he has with his mom.
These dads reacting to feeling their baby’s kick made me teary. I know, I know, we could use this money to cure cancer but let’s just love it for what it is.
One of my most dreaded duties as a new mother was writing thank you cards (I know, it sounds shitty but keeping track of mailing addresses and finding stamps was about the last thing I wanted to do with a newborn.) Still, I really wanted to thank people for thinking of us so I wish Paperless Press had been around then. It’s e-cards but beautiful and tasteful. You can also go the good ole printed route for friends and family that would get their knickers in a twist with a digital card.
There are a lot of pregnant lady videos on YouTube but I really think this one is one of the best.
This is such a great article called, “The Stay-at-Home Mom Conspiracy Theory” by Janie Porter.
“So I feel like stay-at-home moms have been keeping a big secret. I would almost call it a conspiracy.
Why didn't anyone tell me it would be this hard?”
I need to keep track of this article, “10 Things I Want to Tell My Kids Before They're Too Cool to Listen” by Kate Bartolotta because I love it so much and I just know I’ll forget where I saw it.
If you have kids that are (or coming up on) media age – apps, movies, books, tv shows, DVDs, etc. – I highly recommend checking out Common Sense Media. They give very detailed reviews that are extremely helpful and accurate and cover ages 2 – 13+.
If you missed this What’s Up Moms video about infant CPR and choking in the newsletter, be sure to check it out here. It’s a good one!
I posted this video on Facebook after the guy that made it sent it to me. I thought it would be cheesy but I ended up bawling my eyes out from the happy feels. "Your dream came true, Bear! It fucking came true!"
There are many great week-by-week baby photos series, but I really thought this one from Three Dog Photography was truly exceptional.
I’m trying to find out where I can get one of these donut Lego holder things that we saw at Legoland. The people I’ve tried to contact from the location and the holding company have no idea where they came from – crop circles, Stonehenge, soft Lego donuts. So if you know where I can find one, let me know. Also, if you’re looking for a place to take the kids in Toronto (well, I guess anywhere that has them) I highly recommend it. I took the boys there (age 6 and 8 and Lego obsessed) and I actually got to sit and drink a coffee in peace while they ran around and had a blast.
How cool are these custom temporary tattoos you can have made for birth announcements from tattooest.com?! They aren’t cheap but, man, are they neat. The whole site is bad-ass actually.
Whenever someone introduces themselves, say, "Oh, that's the same name as my boat!" then moonwalk away.— Julius Sharpe (@juliussharpe) June 20, 2014
Lastly, I think this is my favourite tweet that has ever been tweeted.