March 9, 2022

Tearing Versus An Episiotomy with Dr. Heather Jeffcoat

You may have heard it’s easier to repair a straight and even cut as opposed to a jagged tear from vaginal births. But is this something that’s actually supported by medical evidence or merely a falsehood passed down about birth?

In today’s episode of Yoga| Birth|Babies I talk to Dr. Heather Jeffcoat DPT all about tears and episiotomies. If you experienced either of these in your birth, how you can help your pelvic floor heal and if you’re pregnant preparing for birth what you can do to prevent either of these from happening? Dr. Jeffcoat goes in depth about the pelvic floor, what tearing it means, different types of tears one may get from having a vaginal birth, episiotomies, healing from either of these and ways you can minimize tearing during birth.

After listening to this episode you will feel empowered knowing you have choices in how you prepare, give birth, and heal our bodies are amazing!

In this episode you will learn:

  • Learn about Dr. Jeffcoat and why she started focusing on pelvic health.
  • Is it easier to repair a straight and even cut as opposed to a jagged tear? 
  • The different types of tears, first degree through 4th degree.
  • How the pelvic floor generally responds to a natural tear.
  • What an episiotomy is and the general outcome of the pelvic floor after an episiotomy
  • Some of the risks with an episiotomy. 
  • The difference in healing and recovering from a natural tear versus the healing from an episiotomy.
  • Scar tissue massage for healing.
  • Some indications that things have not healed and repaired well and may need assistance.
  • Does a severe tear mean someone shouldn’t a second vaginal birth? 
  • Minimizing the chance of tearing during birth.
  • One tip/piece of advice Dr. Jeffcoat offers new and expectant parents.
  • Where you can find her work.

Additional Resources:

Skeletal Muscle Length Relationship Image and Description:

About Dr. Jeffcoat:

Dr. Heather Jeffcoat is a graduate the Doctor of Physical Therapy program through Duke School of Medicine. She founded Fusion Wellness & Femina Physical Therapy (link to: ) in 2009 and now has 3 Los Angeles locations. She is also the President of the Academy of Pelvic Health Physical Therapy (link to: and on the Advisory Board for the International Pelvic Pain Society ( link to: ). Her work focuses on orthopedic, abdominal, pelvic and sexual health education for all, and she lectures internationally on Female Sexual Dysfunction and chronic pelvic pain. She is also the author of Sex Without Pain: A Self

Treatment Guide to the Sex Life You Deserve (link to: ). She has been featured in numerous online, radio and television spots including ABC, The Washington Post, Cosmo, US News & World Report, Buzzfeed, Glamour, Women’s Health, Livestrong, Prevention, Health Magazine, Popsugar, Bustle and many more. Additionally, she is the founder and Executive Director of The Origin Fund (link to: ) aimed at providing pelvic health and other services to low income individuals.

Connect with Dr. Jeffcoat:

  • on instagram: @TheLadyPartsPT @FeminaPT

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