Originally Posted by tie-dyed
My midwives did tell me to not bother with the perineal massage that they strongly enocurage if I'm not comfortable with it, but I think that whatever happens there're gonna be lots of hands where I don't really want them.
This is one of my pet peeves as well. Listening to Pam and some other folks around here has changed how I view my role at a birth. It turns out that babies come out if I never touch the perineum (which is a radical concept in allopathic medicine.) And I see fewer tears since I have given up trying to prevent them.
Episiotomy is one of the interventions that has been best studied in modern times. No maternal benefits have ever been found - episiotomies cause more pain, more infection, slower healing, and a much higher chance of extension to 3rd or 4th degree tearing. And, like cesarean sections increasing the risk of uterine rupture in a subsequent pregnancy, episiotomy scars increase the risk of tearing in a subsequent birth (but fortunately, still most women will birth subsequent babies with much less perineal trauma than their original episiotomy caused.)