1. home
  2. childbirth
  3. Expert Panel
  4. Perineum didn't stretch, had episiotomy. What went wrong and will it happen next time?
Avatar Tenor...
Perineum didn't stretch, had episiotomy. What went wrong and will it happen next time?

Hi,
I'm pregnant with my second baby. When giving birth to my daughter my perineum just would not stretch much (she was 7lb11oz, not huge). I never even got to the stage of feeling the "ring of fire", which I was terrified of.
After 90 mins of pushing, and some tearing happening, I begged for an episiotomy. Baby came out quick-smart after that!

But I'm worried -why did my body not stretch as it should have, and what are my chances of the same thing happening again? Will the scar tissue and failure to stretch last time mean I inevitably won't stretch enough this time around?
Is there anything I can do to help it?
Thank you.

Sarah...
Answer: Hi, With your first baby it can take quite a while to be able to push the baby out - usually at least 2 hours. This time around you will bel closely watched as the perineum stretches and it is better for you to tear naturally rather than be cut as it heals much better. The pushing stage is much quicker the second time around so everything should go to plan. Listen to the midwives and they will guide you when it is best to stop pushing. Best wishes, Alex.
Answered: 09 Sep 2010