I am 24 weeks pregnant with my first baby and I'm having some anxiety about episiotomies. I don't want one! I've been told by a few mothers that recovering from an episiotomy was more painful than labor and delivery and that it's better to tear.
My concern stems from the fact that large babies run in both my family and my husband's. My husband and my brother both weighed nine pounds, eleven ounces at birth and I weighed six pounds, but was a full six weeks premature.
Since I might not be able to avoid having a large baby, what can I do to decrease the chance of needing an episiotomy? I also want to avoid a C-section, if possible.
The best way to avoid a tear or an epsiotomy is with a C-section, but you apparently don't want that.
I'd ask your doctor to try to get an estimated fetal weight close to term. These are notoriously inaccurate, but they can give you a ballpark estimate on whether you should have episiotomy fears. Don't listen to other persons' horror stories--that was for them, not you. Talk to your doctor about your concerns--I'm sure you'll get some reassurance while at the same time making him or her sensitive to your concerns, which will help guide decisions at the time of delivery.