Do You Know How to Avoid Tearing during Labor?

The painful process of labor is enough for any mom.

You don’t want to experience lasting effects if you don’t have to.

Today’s post presents ways to avoid tearing during labor. It is possible, and if you practice these techniques you’ll have one less thing to worry about as a new mom.

Before Labor

Kegel Exercises

Kegels, or pelvic floor exercises, will help prepare your pelvis to open up for the baby to descend. Kegels are actually more intended to help your body tighten up and recover after birth, but in combination with squats, they can prepare the body for better pelvic coordination and conditioning, both of which are important during labor.

Here are 3 more exercises* to try:

*Remember to consult your doctor. This post is not meant as medical advice, but information only.

Perineal Massage

What woman, in labor, wouldn’t love a relaxing massage? A key point to avoiding tearing during labor is to not tense up, which allows your perineum to stretch as much as possible.

Staying relaxed and elastic sounds hard when you’re pushing a small human being out of your body, but Giving Birth Naturally has some great tips here. Perineal massage also helps you familiarize yourself with the sensations of stretching “down there.”

The recommendation is to do the massage (or have your partner massage you) daily during the last 6 weeks of pregnancy, once your body starts producing the hormone relaxin which helps you become “stretchier.”

The video below has an excellent explanation of how and why it works.

Perineal Massage Instructions

During Labor

Pushing Preparation

I know you want to get that baby out as fast as possible, but pushing slowly and steadily may be the better option to prevent tearing. This gives your body the time to stretch appropriately. You can practice pushing while you exhale. Push gently and exhale slowly. This will ease your nerves a bit and help keep you more relaxed while allowing your skin to expand. You can prepare a bit beforehand by visualizing yourself doing this, staying calm and focused. When baby crowns, you can switch to shorter more intense pushing for that final stretch.

Provide Warmth

Keeping yourself warm…down there…can help relax the skin and muscles so they expand easier without tearing. The Mayo Clinic suggests using a warm towel or even getting in the bathtub,

Placing a warm cloth on your perineum increases the blood flow and softens the muscles. If possible, you could also get into a tub of warm water during active labor.

If you are still concerned check out these encouraging tips…

How To Avoid Tearing & Stitches In Birth

Have a tip to share? Leave it in the comments!


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