...can prevent postpartum pain and infection in 3rd and 4th degree tears (and episiotomies?).
A combined Stanford University, Packard Children's Hospital and Santa Clara Medical Center study shows that one dose of intravenous antibiotics can greatly reduce the infection or breakdown of tissue that can cause repurcussions such as bowel incontinence and sexual dysfunction.
"The researchers found that four of 49 patients (8.2 percent) treated with antibiotics and 14 of 58 patients (24.1 percent) who received the placebo showed symptoms of infection or breakdown two weeks after the repair."
The study is thought to transform the postpartum regimen for women with the deeper of the tears that can occur through birthing.
Because we all want to avoid antibiotics as much as possible, lets hope this doesn't just change the actions of physicians, but also women who will find ways to minimize tearing - including not pushing while the staff hollers to 10 (Val Salva/purple pushing), positioning that doesn't have a woman on her back with her legs in stirrups and keeping the providers' hands OFF the perineum as the baby is being born.
Wishful thinking, probably, but one can hope, right?