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Old 04-11-2013, 05:13 PM   #1
qupcake
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Midwife/Birth Center - Avoiding tears

Hey ladies!

I'm due in July, and I'm starting to get really nervous about a long recovery time from tearing (no real reason, just pregnancy jitters).

It's my first baby, and we're doing natural childbirth (Bradley method), and I was just wondering what your experiences have been with tearing.

A. Is recovering from an episiotomy or a tear super painful?
B. Did you do anything before/during/after labor to prevent or heal better from one?

Just trying to arm myself with knowledge as we get closer and closer!!! Thank you!!!

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Old 04-11-2013, 05:20 PM   #2
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Re: Midwife/Birth Center - Avoiding tears

I tore with babies 1 & 3, and had quick labors (less than 5 hours) with all 3. They were born in the hospital, so I had dr telling me to push when my body was telling me not to. I think that if I had just listened to my body, I might not have torn. I"ll find out with this next one, due in Sept, using a birth center. The tear did hurt a lot afterwards, when I would go to the bathroom. The urine burns! The best thing I found was using a sitz bath, and the dr told me that staying well hydrated would help as well, but that scared me, because then I'd pee more. Hopefully you won't have to deal with it at all, but that was my experience.
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Old 04-11-2013, 05:34 PM   #3
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We didBradley as well and did perineal massage fir anout a minth before delivery. I still tore :-(
It wasnt that bad honestly - after pitocin but no epi, nothing is that bad lol - but while i was pushing the dr kept urging me to keep pushing, keep going, etc when i wanted to take it slow to prevent tearing. DD wasnt in imminent danger or anything and i really wish i had told him to shut the heck up!
The peri bottle they give you is fabulous, get one for every bathroom at your house.
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Old 04-11-2013, 05:51 PM   #4
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Re: Midwife/Birth Center - Avoiding tears

I had third degree tears with both boys. With my first it took a long time to heal and was painful. With my second my midwife told me to try to keep my legs closed and not sit on hard surfaces for at least a week and that made a TON of difference and I healed very fast. With DS1 I was always sitting cross legged when nursing which I'm sure made everything worse.
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:41 PM   #5
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Re: Midwife/Birth Center - Avoiding tears

I tore fairly bad but I think it was only 2nd degree. It wasn't too bad for recovery. Peeing didn't hurt me too bad but I didn't like wiping or going #2 (take the stool softner!!!) and I agree the peri bottle felt super good and so did sitz baths. And yes, sitting with legs crossed or sitting on donut pillows are not good ideas because it pulls at your stitches. Sit on soft but even surfaces.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:31 PM   #6
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Re: Midwife/Birth Center - Avoiding tears

I haven't torn with any of my 3. First time the midwife and her assistant put olive oil on as I was pushing. Second and third times I birthed in the water which is good to pervent tearing. Also with all my deliveries I listened to my body and pushed the way my body told me to. Hope all goes well for you with your birth mama!
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Old 04-12-2013, 03:11 AM   #7
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Re: Midwife/Birth Center - Avoiding tears

I had little tears with dd1 that required a few stitches. More like "skid marks". She was an induction but no epi or pain meds and I pushed when I wanted. I just gave birth to dd2 a couple hours ago and no tearing at all I had her in the tub after just 3 pushes. I pushed how I wanted since I couldn't help it and the dr wasn't even in the room yet I don't know of any secrets but I think it's very helpful to push the way you want when you want, without any pain meds or epi. And the tub was amazing! So that prob helps too
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Old 04-12-2013, 04:36 AM   #8
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My doula was surprised I didn't tear as I had a short active labor - from 4 to 10 in an hour and then pushed about 20 minutes. And first vaginal delivery which apparently should make a difference.

I did 1 evening primrose oil capsule inserted nightly from 36 to 40.

And the 4-10 was in the water. Pushing was not.

No tears.
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Old 04-12-2013, 04:44 AM   #9
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I didn't tear with either dd. first time, I did EPO and perineal massage. I had an epi but never had any urge to push. I pushed only during contractions (which I could feel).

Dd2. I didn't use either EPO or massage. Did have an epi. No urge to push. Let the baby descend as long as possible without pushing. Pushed only during contractions. Dd2 born in 6 contractions with a nucal hand.
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:30 AM   #10
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Re: Midwife/Birth Center - Avoiding tears

Waterbirth has a much lower tear rate. If you are able to labour/deliver in the water, I'd recommend it! It also is great for natural pain relief!

Some people like to do perineal massage to loosen things up a bit, with some vitamin E or olive oil or evening primrose oil. I've never tried it, but apparently you have to wash up afterwards, because the oil can increase your risk of vaginal infection. I think the jury is still out on how effective the massage is, but some women definitely believe it helps.

I had warm compresses put on my perineum as the baby crowned with my first. That felt great, IMO, helped to direct my pushing, and I think it helped me to not tear as well. I've never had anything that needed stitches, just a few grazes, which can sting pretty good! My doctor said that the other reason I didn't tear was because I was able to pant when she told me to, and stop pushing for a minute to allow the skin a little extra time to stretch. If you can pant through the "ring of fire" I believe that's supposed to be the key. Sometimes that's just not possible - your body might decide to do what it wants!

Delivering in the squatting position (while great for bringing down a stuck baby) is known for high tear rates. I believe all fours, and possibly semi-reclining are better. (I've delivered semi-reclining each time.)

Finally, talk to your midwife about your concerns and see what she has to say. Let her know that you want to do your best to avoid a tear, and would like her help during delivery to accomplish this.

If you do tear, the peri bottle afterwards when you pee is essential! And your midwife might have an herbal bath for you to soak in, and to keep in your peri bottle to speed healing. Adding some sea salt to your bath can help as well.

All the best!
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