Updated: Aug 14, 2020
Hello Mommies! Happy December.
If you are like me, you woke up this morning thinking, "How the HECK can it be December already?" With the end of the year fast approaching I always think its good to take SOME TIME TO YOURSELF! What better way to do that then learning more about your body.
WELCOME TO PELVIC HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH.
Every couple of days we will be posting facts about specific topics.
[DISCLOSURE: This information is not meant to be ALL encompassing and should NOT replace seeking advice from your health care provider for specific, questions, solutions, and concerns about your health. The purpose is to spark curiosity and gain some insight into your health.]
FACTS ABOUT VAGINAL TEARS DURING BIRTH
When considering labor and birth the biggest fears for women (other than the pain) is the potential for tearing. The vagina is an amazing organ. It’s actually designed to push something the size of a cantaloupe out!! BUUTTTT… most people don’t know that first-time moms have a 95% chance of experiencing some form of tearing during delivery. You are probably thinking, "WHAT? 95% of women have a vaginal tear? NOT ME!"
Here Are Some Helpful Tips
A vaginal tear is a laceration to the perineum (the area between the vagina and rectum) that occurs when the baby is pushed out.
The most common tear for new mothers is a second-degree tear, defined by tearing through several muscles of the perineum. The repair is normally done using a local anesthetic. Second-degree tears are unlikely to cause long-term problems, but they can be very sore.
Massages of the perineal area four to six weeks before your due date can help reduce tears.
You can practice a daily 10 - 15-minute perineal massage with an oil or a water-based lubricant which is thought to soften the tissue. (Always consult your doctor before doing this exercise especially if you have a history of herpes, as practicing perineal massage with an active herpes outbreak increases the risk of the virus spreading throughout the genital tract.)
What oil can you use?
Organic oils that are unscented such as grape seed oil, olive oil, vitamin E oil, coconut oil, or sunflower oil.
What lubricant can you use?
A water-based lubricant such as uber lube, or KY Jelly! Ladies- DO NOT get scented oils or lubricants!
How do a perineal massage?
Place two fingers about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in the vagina, pressing gently down toward the rectum and the sides of the vagina, stretching the skin with your fingers.
Keep your perineum warm?
Ask your doctor for a warm washcloth while you are actively pushing, this can help reduce swelling and tears.
Prepare for pushing.
It helps to take a birthing class. Specifically, aim for more controlled and less expulsive pushing. Pushing the baby out gently and slowly can allow your tissue time to stretch and give way for the baby.
Deliver in an upright, nonflat position.
There are a number of delivery positions that might reduce the risk of a vaginal tear during childbirth. These positions include:
On All Fours
Leaning forward in a supported sitting or kneeling position
Lying on your side
Avoid an episiotomy if possible.
An episiotomy incision made by your provider to widen the vaginal opening. It is no longer the standard practice and is rarely necessary. An episiotomy may actually worsen any damage done by delivery and may negatively impact the healing process.
I hope you ladies found this blog helpful! Please check out our Facebook and Instagram accounts @huddleupmoms every few days and learn more about your Pelvic Health this December!
To learn more about Perineal Massage Click here: https://www.ouh.nhs.uk/patient-guide/leaflets/files/10938Pmassage.pdf
To learn more about vaginal tears click here: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/labor-and-delivery/multimedia/vaginal-tears/sls-20077129?s=3
CONTACT TEAM H.U.M.
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