Ellie Jenkins

British Journal of Midwifery, Vol. 19, Iss. 11, 02 Nov 2011, pp 699 - 705

There is minimal research to support the practice of non-suturing or suturing of labial trauma associated with childbirth. A local audit of 63 women was conducted to look at midwives' and obstetricians' management of postpartum labial trauma. Results showed that labial trauma is recorded as tears or grazes, and 52.4% of labial trauma was sutured and 47.6% was left unsutured. Tears are sutured more often than grazes. The preferred suture material is Vicryl Rapide Gauge 4.0. The majority of cases were sutured with a continuous 'oversew' technique (33.4%). Labial trauma occurs daily in a unit of approximately 6000+ deliveries a year so the lack of research is a concern if treatment is being delivered with little knowledge of efficacy or long-term outcomes.

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