I had stitches and they were definitely more painful than giving birth (partly due to fact that the epidural had worn off, partly due to the incompetent student midwife - the nurse who took the stitches out (ow!) said they were really badly done) however I would do it again. Didn't even cross my mind to refuse.
Took ages though so DH had a lovely long cuddle with DS
I had a second degree tear that was mostly internal. The midwife said it would heal better unstitched. The healing was straightforward but I now have an 'insufficient perineum' and may need an operation to correct it in the future.
Having said hardly anyone ever refuses I had someone refuse for a moderate sized tear last week, it sat together well though and I expect it will probably heal.
Marykatharine When I stitch I am allowed to put in 20ml of lidocaine (local anaesthetic) I don't usually find I need to put this much in, for most women half of this much will be ok. It means that the stitches are not felt as they go in, as the whole area is so tender it is still bound to be a bit uncomfy though. I have had women chatting on their phone whilst being stitched, having skin to skin with the baby and even breastfeeding lying back, (I personally couldn't do that until my dc's were about 3 months old so I am always impressed when that happens!) Anyway, I find that most women are fairly comfy once the local is in place.
Best advice I ever got from MN was to ask for an expert to do any stitching. I had 2 births with epidurals, second one it took them.about 40 min to decide how to stitch and to do it, but I didn't realise I had a 2nd degree tear both times until I read my notes - I felt fine within 48 hours! Midwives were very impressed.
If I hadn't already had epidurals I might have felt differently, but as there was some haemorrhaging with the first one, stitching was probably vital there.
Notcitrus I would like to do this too. With my DS I was stitched by a consultant. It took him all of about five minutes and healed fine. But I have heard stories, including the one above, of being stitched up by a student midwife .
I just don't want a student of any description anywhere near a tear in that particular part of my anatomy. I'm due to give birth in a few months at a public teaching hospital and want to make clear that any stitches are not to be a learning experience for anyone... how did you word it? Did you have it in your birth plan? And how did they take it?
How do you expect a Midwife to learn how to stitch then? The issue is not with students stitching but with insufficiently supervised students. How do you think that wonderful consultant embroiderer learned? He stitched as a student too.
and yes students need to learn and practice and have a first attempt etc etc
but if Oscalito doesnt want to be stitched by a student that is her right to dictate that..... they will just have to learn on someone else
I choose not to let students do anything like that to me too.... so no bloods, no stitches, and also not present in my home at my home birth....
fine with weighing / blood pressure / checking urine / feeling my tummy etc etc, but ultimately its an individuals choice who we let do what...
In had a student midwife try to insert my IV line when in hospital for HG.... i just said "please can a qualified midwife do it" and that was that.... a simple sentance, and no stress. Bear in mind i was very dehydrated and the student midwife couldnt even feel the vein she was aiming for, and the qualified midwife could..... and i have had lots of issues with even qualified midwives finding my veins, who then painfully fail and only a phlebotomist can do it!
After the horror of being stitched with dd, and the weeks of agony the stitches caused, I refused stitching with ds1 and ds2.
With ds1 I had labial tears, they healed in no time and didn't hurt at all.
With ds2 I had a small tear in my perineum [sp?] and although it hurt a bit more I put that down to the fact that he was in scbu and I was sitting on a hard chair 20 hours a day at his side and exerting myself more than if he'd been home and dp had been doing all the fetching and carrying. I drove 5 hours in 2 days just a few days after he was born as well which was sore, but would have been worse with stitches. It healed fine in the end though, and still quicker and with less pain than after dd
I'd written in my birth plan that I wanted to discuss avoiding stitches if I only had a minor wound that might heal on its own. DD came out with her hand by her head so I had a small 2nd degree tear. MW agreed it would probably be fine, and so it was -- healed in a week and has been fine ever since. I was very glad I hadn't had the extra punctures made by stitches!