Written by Jennifer Post, July 20, 2021

“There is no methodology to predict if a woman will require this procedure until the fetal head crowns, at which point the health provider determines need,” said Kecia Gaither, M.D., MPH, FACOG, who is double board-certified in OB-GYN and maternal-fetal medicine, and the director of perinatal services at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln in the Bronx. Gaither noted there are a couple of situations in which an episiotomy is used, including when the baby needs to be delivered as quickly as possible and when there is the need for operative vaginal delivery using forceps or a vacuum. According to the Mayo Clinic, an episiotomy may also be needed if the baby’s shoulder is stuck behind the mother’s pelvic bone.

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