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Hi,
Question...when pushing, if no one else is down there telling you when to push and wait a second and breathe and whatnot, what can you do to not tear? I had a midwife with #2, at home, and I couldn't tell where baby was at--I didn't even know his head was out nor could I see him (I was squatting and my boobs and belly prevented me from seeing.

Anyway, any ideas on that? Should I just consider another position besides squatting?

Sarah
 

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I really really believe that if you trust your body, you will do fine. Birthing in whatever position is comfortable, pushing only when your body tells you to. You don't even HAVE to push. The baby will be born with the fetal ejection reflex for that matter! Anyhow... having someone there to tell you when and how to push causes more tearing, not less.
 

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Clitoral stimulation.

I've had two spontaneous ejection reflexes of less than one minute each time - no conscious pushing, no tearing. Completely low-stress for me and for the baby. No head molding for baby either. I used clitoral stimulation with a small clitoral vibrator all throughout my contractions and right up through the end.'

Ina May Gaskin refers to this in her book by saying something like "I have never seen a woman tear if she was touching her button during pushing". And we know she's seen a LOT of births! After reading that I thought to myself, there is no reason not to go for it. I was self-conscious the first time I did it, and I do think it helped lead me to UC the next time. It does also help with the pain, making it more intense/pleasure rather than painful. It wasn't orgasmic for me (maybe this time it will), but definitely incredible and sexy!
 

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Push slowly and have your hands feeling around. Dont hold them away from you.

If you feel sharp pain, stop pushing or push slower too. if you are tearing then it may be less.

O4f course this assumes that it is possible to quit pushing. Some peoples bodies won't let them stop.

IME, It hurts as a sharp pain when I tear and thats it, nothing before nor after.
The doc ripped my labia with my first. I felt that reopen with my third (my second was a waterbirth and didn't hurt at all.) but otherwise it didn't hurt.

YMMV of course but that is my experience anyway.
 

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I was kneeling in the birth pool and had my hand supporting my perineum. As her head came out, I couldn't cover the back, and had a little skin split, but it wasn't as painful as the "skidmarks" I got delivering in the hospital lying on my left side with a nurse doing perineal massage.

I also pushed in little pushes.
 

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If you feel your body telling you to push, push. If not, don't. Relax.
 

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i birthed ds on all fours while leaning on a pile of pillows on my bed for support and reaching down with my hands to feel his head coming out.

i could somewhat control the pushing urge, but i also relaxed and surrendered to it.

i pushed him out slowly in 2 or 3 ctx because i knew he was bigger than his sister. i didn't tear or have any perineal tenderness. he was 8' 6, 2 lbs exactly bigger than sis.

i tore badly up and down with her and needed stitches. but i was on my back for that one.
: not my choice. crazy insane mw assistant.
:
 

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Dont stress. Tearing is not as bad as it sounds. Tearing was my number one fear (actually probably my only fear with regards to birth) and I tore. It sucks but I didnt feel it at the time, and it was the least pain down there afterwards. I had a posterior and there was no way in hell I could stop myself from pushing. I tore pretty bad too. I am hoping this time the baby will come out right way round and I may avoid tearing. I also believe being told when to push is a huge hindrance. Your body knows what to do- as long as you dont have pushy people around telling you to ignore it
 

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Honestly, I didn't feel I was tearing, and I didn't know I tore until the doc told me he was going to stitch me up and sprayed on an anesthetic. I was never afraid of tearing, and didn't even know I had. You could try the perinatal perineal massage with natural oil and support your lady parts (or have someone help down there). If you ever have to deal with someone who is horribly constipated, there is a way to support and apply pressure to that area during pushing to help get it out...gross, but true.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Logan View Post
Dont stress. Tearing is not as bad as it sounds.
: I tore with spontaneous, fetal ejection reflex pushing with my first. The tear was internal, right around my clitoris. Hurt like the dickens and scared the crap out of me, which led the midwife to freak out and direct me to push the head out with the next contraction. Tore into my fourchette because of that. Neither of the tears were stitched, and I healed fine. My fourchette didn't heal completely the same as before, but I prefer it that way - maybe I won't tear the next time around. Oh, and orgasms are waaaaaay better now than before I the clitoral tear. Weird.

Just do what your body tells you to. You'll be fine.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Pirogi View Post
Oh, and orgasms are waaaaaay better now than before I the clitoral tear.
O.K..... that is SO weird but I totally get it. For instance, my nipples had hardly any sensation at all before having my daughter but after 3 1/2 years of nursing, I had more sensation than ever before. Which is just really odd I think. LOL!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by HennaLady View Post
Clitoral stimulation.

I've had two spontaneous ejection reflexes of less than one minute each time - no conscious pushing, no tearing. Completely low-stress for me and for the baby. No head molding for baby either. I used clitoral stimulation with a small clitoral vibrator all throughout my contractions and right up through the end.'

Ina May Gaskin refers to this in her book by saying something like "I have never seen a woman tear if she was touching her button during pushing". And we know she's seen a LOT of births! After reading that I thought to myself, there is no reason not to go for it. I was self-conscious the first time I did it, and I do think it helped lead me to UC the next time. It does also help with the pain, making it more intense/pleasure rather than painful. It wasn't orgasmic for me (maybe this time it will), but definitely incredible and sexy!
This idea is very intriguing to me...anywhere else I can read up on it? Not just orgasmic birth, but clitoral stim helping to prevent tearing? I remember thinking during my first birth that if I had touched myself for only like 10 seconds I would have actually had an orgasmic birth. I was *right there* and it surprised the daylights out of me! (Before I knew orgasmic birth wasn't all that uncommon.)
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by HennaLady View Post
Clitoral stimulation.

(see above post for full quote)

OMIGOSH! thank you so much for sharing this!! i read ina may's book when i was prego with my now-3-y-o, but i don't remember that at all! can't wait to try it with this UC. hope you had or are having a fantastically orgasmic birth this week!
:
 

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let me just say... I had my son yesterday. I didn't push slowly. I pushed hard and fast... just like my body told me to. I didn't even get a skid mark. My vagina is the ONE place on my body that doesn't hurt. Everything else aches from my really long and intense labor. But my vagina? Nope... just fine. LOL!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Pirogi View Post
: Oh, and orgasms are waaaaaay better now than before I the clitoral tear. Weird.

Just do what your body tells you to. You'll be fine.
Wow, that sounds interesting. Maybe the question we should be asking is how to tear


I think squatting is the best position for preventing tears though, and if you take your time and don't rush, you are doing all you can. I tore with my first birth and it was no big deal though.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by boheime View Post
If you feel your body telling you to push, push. If not, don't. Relax.
 

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perineal massage. Dh and I did that every night for the last few weeks of my pregnancy and it proved to be very helpful. I felt like my muscles and tissues there were relaxed and prepared by the time birth actually happened.
 

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I'm really worried about where I tore before tearing again. My kids will be 14 months apart, and even now with DD 8 months old where i tore still hurts occasionally, and it's totally healed up.

Anyone know if that's a sign that i"m more likely to tear there again? They were small tears- first degree, 3 tears with 2 stitches each.

I'll definitely be trying the things recommended here- even though DH does not sound impressed by the idea of using a vibrator during labour, lol- but considering I tore during my coached birth I wouldn't be better off with an attendant anyway :p
 
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