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Is my mother-in-law completely nutty - "post tear/cut tidy up"???

(11 Posts)
QTPie Tue 01-Sep-09 17:46:46

Ok, following on from another thread... my mother-in-law has been interrogating me about my obstetric care this past weekend. One of the things that she was talking about sounded really ludicrous to me (as well as incredibly embarrassing to talk about with her...!).

She is basically saying that I should change to Consultant-led care (I am currently on "shared care") and find a Consultant who will, following any tear/cut for vaginal childbirth, (I quote) "sew you up as good as before you were married" (she is in denial about me living with her son, let along sleeping with him before marriage...). Now you can see the embarrassment shock blush

My mother-in-law comes from another country (Hong Kong) and culture, so that may partially explain the comment... But do people actually do that in the UK (a little "good as new" in addition to any repair)?

My answer to the mother-in-law was that I am going to a good hospital and will have AN Obstetrician (although not a specific Obstetrician) present at the birth. That I assume that the Obstetrician will be more concerned about making a competant and good repair (fingers crossed!), than returning virgin-like qualities to my poor distressed bits... I also think that I will be more concerned about getting it over and done with and enjoying time with my baby, than having more sewing done... hmm. My husband is, as ever, only concerned about me and the baby (and not thinking about our post-birth sex life....).

So... I am being niaive (and this practice does go on in this country?) or am I, again, just caught between two cultures...?


susie100 Tue 01-Sep-09 17:51:40

From this and your other thread it sounds as though you should not be discussing anything childbirth related with your MIL. She is nuts.

P.S. She is probably going to be a nightmare when the baby is born and you need to start practising the following. Said with smile and a nod 'thanks for your advice, I will definitely give that some thought'

reikizen Tue 01-Sep-09 17:52:35

Not sure plastic surgery is on the NHS menu but I'm sure you can get it if you pay for it! Consultants ime do not do the repair work after vaginal deliveries unless they involve a third degree tear and the registrar is not available. Unless you are going private or having a section/instrumental delivery you will not have a doctor present at your delivery as normal birth is the remit of midwives. Btw, doctors do not necessarily do the best repair work in my experience, some of it is pretty scary!

cookielove Tue 01-Sep-09 17:53:19

i've heard of it happening, in one of those odd ball documentries, but i really can't believe that this is a comman day request

msrisotto Tue 01-Sep-09 17:54:33

SHOCK HORROR that she is discussing this with you! Nip that one in the bud!

I wouldn't discuss it with her point blank but as an aside - WHY would you do this? Ow!

GreensleevesFlouncedLikeAKnob Tue 01-Sep-09 17:56:09

I've heard it talked about

but only by Americans hmm

I wouldn't discuss it with her, just change the subject, or tell her you'd rather not talk about it.

QTPie Tue 01-Sep-09 18:01:52

Thanks susie100... you are completely right - my mother-in-law is completely nuts grin

I think that the cross-cultural things makes things tougher: what seems perfectly sane to a 60 year old Chinese woman, seems perfectly insane to a 35 year old British woman...

Fortunately my husband is very used to saying "No!" and, at least most of the time, acts as a good barrier for her nuttiness... She doesn't live in this country, so we only see her occassionally.

I am going private (not NHS), reikizen. The package that I am on, guarantees a Consultant Obstetrician at the birth (in addition to a MW): so I assume that he will repair any tears/cuts as opposed to the MW. Although that may or may not be a good thing from your last sentence...

All I want is a very competent, quick healing (as possible) repair.

cookielove, I have never heard of it happening (although I am fairly new to all this childbirth thing)... I would guess it is pretty uncommon in this country (most births are on the NHS, so it wouldn't be an option there). Maybe it is more common in other countries?


LuluMaman Tue 01-Sep-09 18:02:11

as reikizen has said , you won't have an obstetrician at the birth, providing all is progressing well

should you have a tear/cut that needs to be repaired in theatre by a reg/consult,then the last thing you will worry about is being honeymoon fresh, as it were!

your vagina, pelvic floor and perineum may well be altered by the birth, but if you have a nomal delivery, and do lots of pelvic floor excercises, that wil have a good effect

once youve had sex and then a child, you don't and should not need to pretend you are a virgin !!! tis all a bit bonkers really

LuluMaman Tue 01-Sep-09 18:04:16

x post!

i would also look at doing things that would reduce the need for episiotomy and reduce the risk of tearing,such as using a birth pool , avoiding epidural,being mobile and some women swear by perineal massage before teh birht and hot water/flannels on the perineum during crowning

sweetnitanitro Tue 01-Sep-09 18:11:21

shock Wow, that's a personal subject for your MiL to talk to you about!

I had quite a bad tear when I had DD, I was stitched up by a doc and it healed up well. It only took about a week for all the stitches to fall out.

My husband assures me that he doesn't notice any difference, I was a bit worried the first few times but it was all fine. Just make sure you do all your pelvic floor exercises!

Good luck, hopefully you won't need any stitches anyway!

QTPie Tue 01-Sep-09 18:23:52


Yes, I am rather a practical person and agree that prevention is definitely better than cure.

The intention is water birth (all three birthing suites at the hospital I am attending have pools). (Mobile) Epidural is on my mind - depending on how things go: can't rule that out. Will be starting perineal massage. Am doing everything I can for an active birth (keeping fit and strong, pre-natal yoga etc).

I know, sweetnitanitro, VERY! I think it is a cultural thing... I think that she thinks that she is trying to be helpful ("sharing her wisdom"), but it does step well beyond what you want to discuss with you MIL! Especially when she treats you like you must be nuts for not wanting to take her advice... hmm

Glad that you healed well, sweetnitanitro. My husband is a complete wonder (actually becoming even more so since I got pregnant - we have been together for almost 16 years). I know that he would have no complaints afterwards, either.

Definitely pelvic floor exercises all the way smile


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