Afraid of Tearing?

Will I tear when I give birth?

We all know the physical distress that comes along with childbirth and all the graphic images that cross your mind as your due date approaches.

You might have heard that you're at risk for some perineum tearing during birth.

What?!

Wait, seriously, what is going to tear?

Your perineum is simply two layers of muscles making up your pelvic floor, more specifically the area between your vaginal opening and anus.

That doesn't sound like something you'd want to tear while you're pushing during labor, so we understand if you might be a little scared.

There are plenty of little things that will make a big difference and give you a defense against perineum tears and episiotomy intervention.

Different birthing positions work with gravity to assist your baby's descent and less force is required during pushing, lowering tearing risks. Laying on your side or in an upright position will not only make labor a little more comfortable but will help keep your pelvic floor strong. 

Choose a labor position that feels right for you, avoid strenuous positions.

Warm compresses will increase circulation, keeping muscles in that delicate area relaxed and pliable. Water births provide a similar relief and will relax muscles in the mother's entire body not just the perineum. Some mothers report massage and support in this area during labor helps to encourage the perineum stretching to be gradual and more secure.

Focused breathing is your best friend.

Not only will some relaxed and focused breathing help you stay as comfortable as possible, but the pauses will help the perineum slowly stretch instead of being forced too quickly. Your labor doula can help you create a relaxing space with music and keep you focused on your breathing.

Exercise

There are plenty of exercises that are designed to strengthen your pelvic floor for birth. These motions and exercises are done throughout your pregnancy to promote a faster delivery, more endurance during labor and minimize the risk of perineum tear or episiotomy!

We know you're nervous. You don't have to be!

You don't need any more stress in these last few weeks of pregnancy, so don't let tearing keep you up at night. Taking some extra precautions to avoid tears will give you a little peace of mind.

If you tear, you'll heal.

Because this does happen, your healthcare provider is there to answer all your questions about perineum tearing and give you even more tips about prevention.