Can vaginal tearing during childbirth be prevented?
A perineal laceration is a loaded word for mums-to-be. Especially as it is sometimes referred to as "tearing".
2 min read
Verified by Ingela Ågren
It doesn’t sound nice and it isn’t. However, lacerations are common. The body is under enormous stress during labour, particularly during the expulsion stage and during uterine contractions.
Can tearing be prevented and if so, how?
Most important is to communicate well with the midwife during delivery. She can control the pace and avoid the baby coming out too quickly by instructing the mother to pant or puff a couple of quick short breaths to ease the contractions. The midwife usually applies something warm (e.g. a warm wet cloth) to the perineum – the area between the anus and the vagina – during the expulsion stage. This increases the possibility of preventing severe tearing and damage to the rectum muscle. There are no guarantees, however, that vaginal tearing will be stopped. About 80% of all women have tearing, but this includes minor tears that are hardly noticeable and heal quickly.
In most cases, there are no complications, you get one or a few stitches that are absorbed by the body and dissolve after a couple of weeks. If you feel anxious about tearing, remember that it sounds worse than it is. Preventive actions include lubricating and massaging the perineum already during pregnancy. This softens the edges of the opening to the vagina. There is no scientific evidence that this works, but many midwives believe it may prevent tearing, so it is worth trying. Perineum massage oils are available on the market, although the massage itself is more important than the oil used. Talk to your midwife if you are concerned about tearing.
Verified by Ingela Ågren
More from Preggers
Read popular and relevant articles.
Giving birth is hard work and it requires mental training and a lot of energy. Remember the following tips or make a checklist – it’s not far now!
Bumpies - Capturing Your Pregnancy Memories
Bumpies are a unique way of capturing your pregnancy journey - by photographing your growing belly instead of your face. With the Bump Booth tool, you can upload, edit, and add effects to your bumpies to create lasting memories of your pregnancy.
Hospital bag checklist – here you get tips
Planning and preparing the hospital bag well in advance is a common recommendation - and a good idea. Maybe you can hardly think of anything other than what is now in front of you, childbirth! Then it's nice to know that the bag is ready in the hall. Here you get the best tips for the perfect hospital bag.
Not ready to tell anyone yet?
There are of course many reasons why you don’t want to tell anyone that you just got pregnant. And of course, it’s up to you to decide how and when you want to tell. Want some advice on how to hide the big news just a bit longer? Here are some great excuses for when you want to keep your secret to yourself just a little bit longer.
Girl or boy?
No, it can’t be predicted. But according to old wives’ tales, certain signs predict the gender of the child. What do you think?