An episiotomy is a surgical cut between the vagina and the anus. This is usually performed right before delivery to allow a bigger opening.
In the past research has led doctors to believe that an episiotomy will reduce pelvic floor disruption and incontinence. More recently these procedures have been on the decline and ACOG does not recommend that it be done routinely. That said, your doctor will deliver your baby in the safest way possible, which might mean there is a need for an episiotomy to get the baby out faster.
Episiotomy healing takes place within an hour of your baby’s birth. Your OB will often add stitches that dissolve. You can expect this to heal within 4 weeks.
Within 4-6 weeks your body is considered “normal”. This simply means all systems are back to normal. Usually you will get permission from your doctor to exercise at your 4 week postpartum visit. Your body is doing some pretty amazing things within the first several weeks following birth – you can read more about postpartum recovery here.
Midline episiotomies, especially 4th degree (1st being smallest) can create dysfunction of the pelvic floor, which also interrupts core function. The pelvic floor is part of your core. Several of the tools and instruments that doctors use to assist you in giving birth, vacuums and forceps, for example, can cause pelvic floor dysfunction.
So it’s important you do exercises that focus on the pelvic floor. We cover the 2 important exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor.
Woman who have had C-sections tend to have less trauma to these muscles, but incontinence is still present from baby sitting on bladder (your uterus is on top of your bladder).Either way it is important to create a healthy pelvic floor again. From kegels to initiating your inner core in everyday exercises.