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rodydoe89's avatar

Medical jellies/women with children- perineal tears?

Asked by rodydoe89 (356 points ) October 19th, 2010

My husband and I recently started trying to get pregnant, so I have been doing a lot of research on pregnancy and birth, etc. I had never seen a video of the birth process until now, and in my research I came across perineal tears. It may just be that I am stupid or overreacting, but this totally freaks me out. How can I ease my mind about this? I am sure I will eventually “get over it” since I really want to have a baby, but for some reason this has just put a temporary stop to my wanting to try. Help!

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11 Answers

Seaofclouds's avatar

Not every woman tears. I had a really great doctor that made sure that area stretched and didn’t tear. Some doctors will cut the area so that it’s a clean cut in the skin. The stitch the area closed as one of the last things. The cuts that they do tend to heal cleaner and faster than tears because the tears can be very jagged and uneven. As far as how to “get over it”, just remember it’s all part of the labor process and although it may seem overwhelming and painful, it’s one of those things that women are obviously able to get over since the continue to have children. The reward of holding your child in your arms makes all the pain of labor completely worth it (in my opinion).

BarnacleBill's avatar

If childbirth was really horrible, we’d all be only children.

YARNLADY's avatar

Your doctor can explain how that works and what you can do to reduce the likelihood. It’s really no worse than getting your ears pierced or a tattoo.

skfinkel's avatar

When you are having the baby, you won’t be aware of it. Lots of people don’t even get them—and there are ways to stretch so you don’t. Also there are episiotomies, which heal quickly, although I think there was some debate which healed quicker. In any case, to my mind, this is the very last thing you need to worry about in the birth process. And don’t forget, if you are really freaked out about it, you can get a Caesarian.

Trillian's avatar

Hah! Even if you do tear, by that time you won’t care. Trust me, that will be the least of your worries. But the doc will be there with his scissors and will probably snip you if it looks like you’ll need it.

krose1223's avatar

A lot of it is genetics and there is a massage the doctor/nurse can do to help. I didn’t tear with my first so there’s always a chance of it not happening. I was just talking with my sister yesterday about this, because she is a L&D nurse, and she says a lot of time the women don’t even feel it when it happens. Some women say it’s just a warm sensation. I’m sure it hurts like heck afterword, but there’s so much going on with your body it all hurts about the same. And after you have that baby all the pain is more than worth it. Tearing really isn’t the worst thing that could happen, I suggest you don’t work yourself up about labor.
Just stop worrying and have fun making a baby. :)

tranquilsea's avatar

I read an article which looked into research on whether or not it was beneficial for episiotomies. What the research showed was that the incision often made tearing more dramatic. That makes sense to me. What is more stable? A piece of paper that has not been torn or one that has?

I had a an episiotomy with my first and it hurt but not as much as the birth itself. I didn’t have one with my other two children and although I tore a bit it was nothing compared to the episiotomy.

snowberry's avatar

Tranquilsea’s experience is rather common. Episiotomies are made when the skin is stretched tight, and so there isn’t much feeling there. It’s afterwards, as they begin to heal, that they can often be much more painful than the birth itself. I had 5 children, and I didn’t tear once, but I had the support I needed to make it happen properly. Neither did I have an episotomy, but my kids were born at home. It’s rather common in this country to have an episotomy, but it is not common practice in many other countries where the western medical mindset has not yet invaded birth practices. Position of the mother, perineal support, and massage can all alter the situation and reduce the possibility of tearing.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

You should let your practitioner hear your concerns and write into your birth plan how you want them to address possible tearing. I wanted nothing to do with an episiotomy and told my doctor to do anything he could (massage, stopping to push when necessary, taking time) to make sure there is no need for one. And my kids were big too with big heads but I am against labor being co-opted by interventionist physicians. You might have minor tears which will heal a whole damn faster than an episiotomy so don’t freak out – your vagina is made for birth.

casheroo's avatar

Most OBs are apparently not doing episiotomy’s as much since they cause more tearing and damage than naturally tearing. For example, an episiotomy is automatically a 3rd degree tear, lets say you let it happen naturally and you would have only gotten a 2nd degree tear. Big difference.
I tore twice with my first, and honestly? The healing was like healing from any cut. I had two second degree tears, and the stitches just fall out on their own. I wish I had used an oil massage down there, or a warm compress during the pushing…which I have read helps a lot.
My second was born via c-section. I’d take a vaginal tear over that ANY DAY. Trust me.

rodydoe89's avatar

This has all been so helpful! Thank you so much everyone. Wish us luck, my fertility is at its peak right now!

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