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My DS was 10 1/2 pounds when he was born and I didn't tear at all. However, my douhla and midwife massaged the area with vitamin E oils, and I'm assuming a lot of the reasoning for not tearing was due to that.
However - this time I want a water birth, and much more "hands off". So that has me worried that I will tear..
Is there anything I can do to prevent tears, other than using oils during labor? Did you tear? Please help calm my nerves- but be honest either way. lol.
Letting your body do most of the pushing so that baby comes out slower helps with not tearing. Also the water is supposed to help too and then there's always perineal massage in the coming weeks before labor.
Ok, thank you! Yeah that's one thing I want to do this time- let my body do most of the pushing. I was too exhausted last time and didn't wait/think to wait. I didn't realize I could do the perineal massage in the weeks before, great ideas!! Thanks!!
I haven't heard of perineal massage during labour making a difference during second stage in labour with regards to tears, so unsure if this actually contributed towards no tearing in your previous birth. There is evidence to suggest frequent perineal massage prior to labour onset can make a difference. Water does help prevent tearing the only other research I've found whilst studying as a student midwife that can also prevent tearing is a warm compress on the perineum during the second stage. Hands on/off does not appear to make a difference-by hands on/off I mean some midwives apply their palm to fetal head to help control speed of fetal head delivery. If you're wanting hands off as in nothing applied to perineum at all I would do as you say and massage the perineum during pregnancy and attempt water birth as long as you are comfortable. One if the main factors that comes in to play during second stage and tearing is the elasticity of mums skin, fetal position and head diameter.