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Vaginal tearing during childbirth is one of the biggest concerns women have in regards to labor.
If you are scared of tearing during childbirth, there are a couple of things you can do during your pregnancy to help you out.
Mandatory Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and this should not be taken as medical advice. These are tips and tricks women have found to work for them in the past, but each birth is different and
Consider a Waterbirth
Warm water can help prevent even the worst of tearing and has been shown to lower the stress hormone during labor.
A lot of hospital allow water births nowadays, be sure to talk to your doctor and husband so they are aware of your wishes beforehand.
If you decide you don’t want a water birth, you can always have a shower or bath in the early stages of labor and have similar effect.
Use Primrose Oil to Prevent Tearing
Evening primrose oil has been known to ‘ready your cervix’ for labor.
You can start taking it orally when you’re at 34 weeks pregnant.
Once you get to 37 weeks, you can use it vaginally. Simply use a sterilized needle to puncture a small hole in the capsule and insert it. Put it in right before bed and wear a pantyliner to catch the drip.
Eat Six Dates A Day
Dates? Yes, dates! Dates have been shown to help ease the labor process, primarily helping with cervical ripening.
There are many benefits of consuming dates during pregnancy, such as a higher rate of spontaneous labor (vs. being induced), higher cervical dilation when admitted to the hospital, and shorter labor.
If you don’t like dates, there are plenty of ways to sneak them into your diet, such as in smoothies and with nut butters.
When you’re around 35 weeks pregnant, you can start incorporating the 6 dates a day. You may start earlier, but the benefits have been seen for momma’s using them during the third trimester.
Try a Pereneum Massage
The perineum is the area between the vagina and rectum. Massaging the perineum during the weeks leading up to labor can help soften, stretch and relax the area.
You can do the massage to yourself or ask your partner. You can use a lubricant or even the evening primrose oil previously mentioned.
Wash your hands and make sure your nails are trimmed before attempting. It might be hard to do yourself (with the big belly in the way) but what you want to do is hook your thumb about an inch inside your vagina, and gently press to the sides, and toward the anus. Try your best to relax the area.
Do this for about 5 to 10 minutes every day, starting when you’re around 34 weeks pregnant.
Go At Your Own Pace
You have a smart body that knows when it’s ready to push the baby out.
The old days of doctors yelling “Push! Push! PUUUUUSH!” are long gone. Tell your doctor and midwife you want to go slow.
Work on your breathing beforehand and try to ‘breath the baby out’ instead of pushing. Attempt to avoid frantic pushing, let your contractions be your guide.
When your baby is in position and ready to be pushed, you will feel your uterus contract and push the baby out. You can help the process by being in an upright position and pushing when you feel the urge, not just because you think you should be.
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