An episiotomy is an incision made between the vagina and the rectum (midline episiotomy) or off to one side ( lateral episiotomy) to make more room for the baby to pass through. An episiotomy is usually done right before the baby is born. A
is used before the episiotomy is done.
After the baby and the placenta are out, the episiotomy is sewn up with dissolving stitches.
Usually doctors will do an episiotomy only when absolutely necessary, for example, during a forceps delivery or if there is difficulty pushing the baby's head out. Talk with your health care provider if you want more information.