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Multip Mamas: Post-Birth Vaginal Exams

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Just out of curiousity: After you gave a birth, how did your midwife check you for tears? I know with my second, they didn't check until my postpartum visit. With my first, it's a little fuzzy, but I don't remember anyone checking inside of me despite tearing my labia. I interviewed a midwife who says that she routinely sticks a pinky inside her clients' butts to check for tears. yikes2.gif Is that normal? I didn't ask any of the other midwives I interviewed if they did that, and I'm not sure why it'd be necessary. Anyone know?

post #2 of 6

yes, it's normal, and can be really important. If you have a tear that goes through the anus or wall of the rectum, you need to have that stitched up. The finger test will help the midwife identify if the muscle is able to clench shut or if it has been torn, 3rd or 4th degree tears. The question would be what kind of repairs does the midwife do in the event of a complicated tear would you need to be seen by an ob?

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

If you don't have signs of tearing from the outside or inside the vagina, why would you still need this test? It sounds so invasive!

post #4 of 6

I guess if there is no obvious tear and no history of tearing then it would seem invasive. I've had a bad second degree and then a 3rd degree tear. For me personally, I would be appaled if the midwife did not check. I suppose if there was no evidence of a tear then a midwife could forego the test, but it's fair that she warns you that this is part of a normal exam so that it does't come as a big surprise if it is needed, and then if it's not needed: Bonus!

post #5 of 6

I personally don't remember anyone doing this after the births of my other three, with DS2 I tore pretty badly, he had a HUGE head, and she stitched me up... whatever good it did, I have a slightly chewed up labia, something that has bothered me for years. I think that I would have rathered she checked me out thoroughly and had sewn me up correctly than the cob job I ended up with. There really is no reason for my labia to look the way it does, she didn't do a good job sewing and that's all there is to it. 

post #6 of 6

babytoes, that sucks. I too would much prefer a thorough check and a *good* repair. My first baby left me with a starburst kind of tear that just about went everywhere. The repair was done by an inexperienced OB who was visibly stressed during the repair. It was uncomfortable after it healed. My second birth was a third degree tear. The OB who sutured me was referred to as a sewing machine, which is actually a good thing in my books, for that department anyways. Whatever happened, everything healed in a way that I didn't think was possible and it feels better than after the first birth repair, Both of my births were with midwives who were not skilled enough for the repairs required. If I tear again with this third baby, I won't hesitate to transfer to a hospital for a good repair if it's anything complicated. Personally, I would prefer for my pelvic floor to be as strong and properly repaired as possible, so whatever they need to do is worth it for me to not have a lifetime of wishing they had done a thourough check and repair.

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