Cody’s just turned 9 months a few days ago and I couldn’t help but reminisce about giving birth after 9 months of carrying him within me, all snug and cosy, and thinking back to how I felt before going into labour. Even though I was super relaxed about going into labour and giving birth and actually even excited about it, there was one thing that did cause me a few restless nights and that was the fear that I might tear.
Luckily I didn’t, and in today’s video I’d love to share with you a few tips on how you, too, can help prevent tearing. Unfortunately I can’t promise that you won’t, however, the tips that I share are definitely worth a try.
Click on the picture below to watch the video and let me know in the comments below, if you have even more tips and techniques that you’re using to prepare for your birth.
Would you rather read? Have a look below:
Is one of your biggest fears of giving birth that you might tear or need an episiotomy?
This for me was the number 1 fear I had and after talking to a few of you, it seems to be the same for most of us.
I’m happy to report that I didn’t tear during Cody’s birth and I hope that these tips will help you, too.
Let’s dive right in.
1. Avoid pushing your baby out!
What this does is it actually closes the sphincters of your vagina obviously making it harder for your baby to come out.
Unfortunately many birth practitioners are still telling you to push during contractions, or surges as we call it, as soon as the baby’s head is visible, but forced pushing can cause your baby to be pushed back up unnecessarily and then it often seems as though the baby is “stuck”, which can lead to a very long second stage of labour, possible interventions and sometimes even complications.
It’s also very hard work for you and the baby, it can tire you both out and again can therefor lead to interventions because you’ll just be too tired to keep this up and get your baby out.
By tensing your whole body during forced pushing your perineum will also be tense, which can be one reason for tearing.
If you’re naturally bearing down on the other hand, or in other words, if you have the natural urge to push, do your best to relax as much as possible into this feeling and let your body lead the way.
This is completely different to forced pushing or coached pushing as many people call it, as it’s more of a “gentle” nudge than YOU actively tensing almost every part of your body.
2. Breathe or Hum or Roar Your Baby Down.
Birth humming is a technique I teach in The Wise Hippo Birthing Programme and this is exactly what you can do instead of pushing.
By breathing or humming your baby down you get as relaxed and calm as possible by keeping your jaws relaxed which are connected to the pelvic floor muscles.
The more relaxed you are, the more oxygen goes towards your muscles and tissues, which helps them stretch and loosen up even more.
As we can’t really practice this before actually giving birth, a way you CAN indeed practice it in a similar way, is when you go for a poo.
Yes, I said it…
Next time you go to the toilet, rather than pushing, be patient, give it time, and breathe or hum IT down.
3. Trust your baby.
One of the reasons many women start pushing and often end up with tears, is because they just want the baby out as quickly as possible.
However, babies don’t usually come out fast, especially if it’s your first birth.
There is a bit of a back and forth going on of the baby pushing its head against your perineum and then going back up a little bit, and that’s a good thing. This allows your tissues to stretch slowly and eventually being flexible enough to birth your baby.
4. Have a water birth if you can.
Water relaxes your mind, your body, your tissues and that can help prevent tearing.
5. Perineal massage.
Some believe it doesn’t do anything and can even cause infections due to bacteria on your fingers.
Others are certain it helped them not to tear.
I did practice it, not exactly regularly, but I’m sure it didn’t do any harm and helped me trust my body even more.
You can do this daily in the last few weeks before giving birth to increase the suppleness of the muscle tissue, or you can even ask your partner to help you out. 3-5 minutes a day is absolutely fine and it will also help you connect with your baby.
Those were my 5 tips to avoid tearing during childbirth. I hope this is helpful and if you have any other tips, please add them in the comments underneath.
I also have a free resource for you that you can download here. It’s an hypnosis mp3 called Calm & Relaxed and it’s taken straight from The Wise Hippo Birthing Programme.
Lots of love,