6 Secrets to avoid tears during childbirth
Do you fear vaginal tears during childbirth? You want to avoid it? Although it is impossible to avoid some vaginal tears, it is possible to reduce the likelihood of having severe vaginal trauma.
Use these 6 tips for a delivery without tears:
1) Prepare your body
- It is essential to make sure that your body is ready for the start of work. Sport improves circulation, which improves the elasticity of the skin. Good nutrition and hydration are helpful for your skin and your muscle health.
- Include lots of good fats, especially omega-3s (seeds, fish, nuts and pumpkin) and protein Vegetables supplement a healthy diet and include nutrients such as vitamin E, vitamin C, zinc and fiber. These will provide your body with the opportunity to stretch during delivery and recover afterwards.
2) Pelvic floor exercises
- Pregnant women are often advised to do pelvic floor exercises (called Kegel or stretching exercises) to strengthen the muscles in the pelvic floor. The idea is that after delivery, the pelvic floor muscles become fit and you are less likely to have incontinence.
- Learning to relax the pelvic muscles is also important and performing the pelvic floor exercises properly can help you identify these muscles and then release them.
3) Delivery position
This should normally be described by your midwife or doctor during delivery. The position in which you are pushing has a great influence on the risk of tearing.
The reclining position with the suspended legs (the semi-reclined position) puts pressure on your perineum, reduces the size of the pelvic floor and increases the likelihood of tearing.
Women who are free to move during work will find the position that helps them cope with contractions at each particular stage. Some women like to have their feet firmly planted on the ground.
4) Breathe instead of pushing the baby
- During the push phase, the fetal ejection reflex moves the baby down and out of the uterus, into the vagina and into the world. These strong contractions of thrust are involuntary and move the baby without the mother pushing or moving.
- When you feel the urge to push, it is actually that your uterus is already contracting and the baby is shaking up. You must not push with your whole body while holding your breath to give birth to your baby. This reduces oxygen for you and your baby, and contracts your muscles instead of releasing them.
- Breathing with your contractions allows your baby to descend slowly and cause less trauma to your pelvic floor. As your baby’s head grows on the pelvic floor, the perineum begins to soften and stretch.
5) Choice of place of birth and doctor or midwives
This allows you to be less stressful and confident about yourself and the people around you at birth. This can interfere with the hormones you need to produce for a natural birth, increasing your pain, tension and fear. The tighter you are, the less likely you are to free your baby from your body without tearing. Avoid stress !
An episiotomy is a surgical cut made on the skin and muscle of the perineal area, to enlarge the vaginal opening made by the doctor or midwife to facilitate your delivery. It’s also a great way to reduce stress and tension during work, and help you find positions and methods that help maximize your chances of avoiding a tear.