Can I refuse an episiotomy (cut)?

Of course you can, but this is an example of being fixed in ideas when we recommend keeping an open mind to any possibility. If the professionals recommend you have an episiotomy, it would usually be for a good reason. Get them to keep explaining, until you feel you really do understand why it is neccessary. It is a procedure whose purpose is 'damage limitation'. In other words, it is done to try and prevent something worse happening. Having said that, some hospitals may still do them as part of a routine, for example on the grounds that this is your first baby. Well, until your vagina starts to stretch, who knows? If you feel the explanation is not good enough, discuss it with your partner and negotiate. (Three more pushes on my own and then if you still think you need to ...)

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