Post # 1
Just the thought of it brings tears to my eyes! A co-worker of mine said that she heard (she actually hasn’t had a baby) that you should be massaging/lubricating that area for a while before the baby comes. Has anyone heard of that before or done that before to help prevent tearing? I didn’t even think of that before she mentioned it. I guess it makes sense but since I haven’t heard about it before I am wondering if it is an old wives tale. If you have done it- what did you use? Did it work?
Post # 3
Some medical professionals recommend perineal massage (you can Google it) during pregnancy and birth to prevent tearing. Basically, using a lubricant you “stretch” the vaginal opening with your thumb and forefinger, or have someone else do it for you.
I didn’t do perineal massage, although I thought about it. At the end of the day, though, I only pushed for about 30 minutes and my doctor said I only had a few “papercut” tears. I don’t think I even needed stitches and it didn’t hurt or anything. I do think genetics has a bit to play into whether you tear or not, along with specifics about your baby and your birth experience.
ETA: Or you could just spray a little Pam down there. 😉
Post # 4
My doc advised me to do the massage and stretching but I didn’t. With my first child, I tore enough to warrant 2 stitches, but it healed quickly and you don’t notice a difference (sorry if Too Much Information.) I absolutely refused to have an episiotomy and I don’t regret that. I would bet that massage and light stretching probably would have helped me during childbirth, so I would say to try it.
Post # 5
Massage is a good idea if you are worried. I wish I had tried it because I had a 2nd degree tear with my first child. Not hugely bad, but I did need stitches.
I didnt tear at all with my secind, and my recovery from the birth was alot quicker.
I guess, as with mosts things, people with different experiences will recommend different things.
Post # 6
Also, I did have a midwife suggest getting a vibrating bullet toy from an Adult Shop to use for massage. Apparently cheap and effective.
Post # 7
At the suggest of a midwife friend I attempted perineal massage once, I could barely reach and do what it requires, so I gave up.
We’ll see what happens this week or next!
Post # 8
I really don’t want them to cut me!!!! It’s my greatest fear currently lol.
Post # 9
@Firie: I saw a blog post about it and the lady was pro-good sex life! She said that helps too…. I guess keeping it all “limber” down there.
OP: My midwife massages as momma is pushing too. She said that the longer you push/more pushes the less likely you are to tear. She said that most of the time she sees tears it’s when the shoulder “pop” out… she’ll do real good trying to ease the head out and then the shoulder comes to fast and mom tears.
I’m TOTALLY opposed to being cut and will likely birth either a water birth (which helps relax the area) or squatting using a birthing stool b/c squatting gives us like 2cm more opening in our pelvis and then we have gravity helping us. =)
Post # 10
When I had my son, he came out within 10 minutes after a 3 day labor and they were stitching me for alomost two hours, and the nurse said it was the biggest tear she ever seen. It was really bad! His heart kept slowing down to amost not beating,so he had to come out fast. I had a midwife and before any complications she actually suggested not to push at all, and that if there is no complications, the baby will actually come on it’s own, and thats the best way to not tear!
Post # 11
I had an episiotomy with my first daughter and they let me tear with the second daughter. Honestly, I think the tearing was better (eventhough it kind of freaks me out to think about it even now after it happened). But neither of them was that bad for me- a few stiches each time. I never did any kind of massage beforehand.
Post # 12
Anything to avoid tearing is a good thing; I have no idea if massages would have helped me (like Alyssa742, my son needed to be born quickly b/c the cord was wrapped around his shoulders, and I only pushed a few times after a really short labor; 40-something stitches later, I was not a happy camper and took weeks to recover), but it can’t hurt! Massage away and commission your man to help 🙂
Post # 13
Wow! Now I’m even more freaked out! Agghhh!! 🙂 I’m just thinking about when the epidural wears off and I pee for the first time and imagining how bad it will burn. Probably nothing in comparison to giving birth but still!
Post # 14
@Lolasmomma: 🙂 The hospital will probably give you some pain meds to take after birth, especially if you tear. To be honest, I didn’t need anything other than an ibuprofen once or twice during recovery, but I’m sure they’ll prescribe something stronger for you, if you do tear. No worries! Most of us go on to do this whole birthing thing again, even with tears, so it can’t be that bad, lol.
Post # 15
I did the perineal massage for five weeks before delivery. In the last few weeks, I tried to do it twice per day.
It doesn’t feel good, but I do think it helped. I delivered an 8.5 lb. baby vaginally and had only two very minor tears which healed extremely quickly. And while the contractions were very painful, when it came time to push, while I felt intense pressure, I didn’t feel much pain at all.
Post # 16
Oh my goodness…why did I click on this thread??? I think I’ve just made the decision to never have children. Ever.