Not all mothers need an episiotomy, a surgical incision that widens the vaginal opening. It is only necessary if the baby is large, in an abnormal position, or is not handling the last minutes of labor well. While the recovery may take upto a month, having warm sitz baths and keeping the area clean, dry can help ensure safe episiotomy aftercare and healing.
Mediolateral episiotomy is an inch-long diagonal cut from the vulva toward the hipbone, while midline episiotomy is a straight cut from the vulva toward the anus. While blood loss, pain, and scarring are less in midline episiotomy, there's a higher risk of cuts in the anal muscles. Post-delivery, keep the area between the vagina and the anus clean and avoid foods that cause constipation. When in pain, apply cold packs on the region or take prescribed pain medicines.
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