Tearing during childbirth is normal and is one of the biggest fears of women globally. There are first and second degree perineal tears that are not as severe. On the other hand, third and fourth perineal tears can cause long-term problems and an extended healing period after birth. Total prevention of tearing during childbirth isn’t guaranteed, but one can reduce the risk of severe tearing.
The following are ways to reduce the risk of severe tearing
This is best done at the end of the third trimester, before the start of labor. This technique of massage is meant to gently stretch the vaginal opening making it more elastic to fit the baby’s bead. It is a do-it-yourself method that entails;
First, washing your hands then lubing up the perineum and fingers with sunflower, olive or Vitamin E oil. Next place your thumbs into the vagina not more than three to four centimeters pressing the perineal floor down and to the sides and hold until you feel a stretching feeling or a mild burning. Don’t hesitate to ask your partner for help if you are struggling to do the massage.
This is a medical training device that works to better prepare a woman for childbirth. It’s an inflatable balloon-like device that one places inside the vagina to keep the perineum intact preventing the risk of perineal injury. Keep in mind that during insertion you should not feel pain but a sensation of stretching.The Epi-No should be used three weeks before the due date. Ask your doctor or midwife for guidance if you can use it, and when you should commence using it.
Deliver in the right positions
Your delivery position can play a huge role in reducing the risk of tears. According to Mayo Clinic, you should avoid either lying down or flat during delivery. You could use the following birth positions to prevent tearing; standing, squatting, on your hands and knees and side-lying. Lying on your back reduces the size of your pelvic making pushing harder. Find a comfortable and safe delivery position that will utilize the natural effect of gravity.
This process entails giving birth in a tub of warm water. A water birth not only provides pain relief but also prevents tearing. This process is less stressful and relaxes both the body and mind of the mother.The warm water makes the perineum more elastic and relaxed reducing the severity of tearing.
Childbirth has three stages.During the second stage, aim for a slower and controlled delivery process. Pushing out the baby gently will give your tissues time to stretch. A hands-on birth is applicable during this stage where your mid-wife or health practitioner can support your perineum as you give birth.This manual protection can be given in any birth position except from in water and on a birthing stool.
The child delivery process is nerve-wrecking especially to new moms. Regardless, ensure to maintain a calm and relaxed aura. If you get overwhelmed, talk to your doctor, partner or family member. A stress-free birth will result in a successful birth so make sure to remain relaxed during labor and childbirth.
Placing a hot, wet towel and pressing it on your perineum can soften the skin as it stretches. This will help reduce the pain and tearing caused during childbirth.