Social construction of episiotomy

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SummaryThis article explores the meaning of episiotomy.A review of the literature examines the definition, procedure, perceptions and outcomes of episiotomy to create a better understanding for those using or experiencing its practice.The article highlights that episiotomy means more than just a cut in the perineum. Episiotomy means different things to different individuals and groups, the meaning being socially constructed depending on social context, professional background and personal experience.It is concluded that midwives need to understand what an episiotomy means to women, and that through research midwives need to develop their own body of knowledge of childbirth from the viewpoints of those who are actually experiencing it.

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