The episiotomy, vacuum and forceps
- The episiotomy
This is an incision to the perineum (from your vagina down to your anus) "to make passage for the baby easier". This is just one of many well-meant but unnecessarily harmful labor practices of modern medicine.
- Massage versus a knife-slice
Not only do naturally-occurring tears heal faster and hurt less than these incisions, but the idea that a knife is the "best option" for an area evolved/designed to birth babies is violently counter-intuitive. Perineal massage, warm compresses, and oil increase the birth canal's elasticity with less pain or risk of infection.
- The vacuum and forceps are exactly what they sound like
These devices suck and yank the baby's head out of the birth canal. More importantly, there is no research that indicates the use of any of these devices or methods ever improved fetal outcome over the simple and gentler warm compresses, oil and massage.
- Protect your baby's head & your perineum
Take the time to discuss your caregiver's views of the above medical practices, at least to know whether there's a chance that they'll be offering them to you in the throes of labor.