An Episiotomy is a surgical incision in the perineum (the area of skin between the vagina and the anus). It is the equivalent to a 2nd degree tear. Episiotomies are said to speed up the birth by up to 20 minutes.
As our understanding of anatomy, modern medicine, the mechanics of childbirth, and technology have significantly increased, more and more women are exploring the idea of a home birth with trained midwives or nurse-midwives for low-risk, healthy, normal pregnancies. This article will help increase your understanding as you move toward an informed decision.
Perineal massage is the gentle stretching and massaging of the skin between the anus and vagina (perineum) during the last few weeks of pregnancy. This massage has been shown to reduce the incidence of episiotomy and perineal tears during birth.