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Does any one have any info. about applying olive oil to the perineum/vagina during pregnancy & delivery to help avoid an episiotomy? Looking for specifics please - if it is successful, how to do it, when, how often, and potential risks.<br><br>
(I am 32 weeks pg & having a hospital birth. I had an episiotomy w/my last vbac & am hoping to avoid another.)<br><br>
Any info. would be appreciated. Thank you.
 

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nak<br><br>
you're talking about "perineal massage"--perhaps try doing a search in tis forum.<br><br>
Some swear by perineal massage, others don't think it makes much difference. I think the biggest contributing factor to maintaining an intact perineum is choosing a birth attendant who trusts perineums to stretch (rather than a cnm or ob who "only cuts an episiotomy when neccesary.")<br><br>
I did not do perineal massage, but w/ my homebirth, my mw was lubing my perineum w/ olive oil. From my cupboard, extra virgin first cold press organic! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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Olive oil worked for me. My midwife applied it during the pushing phase of labor. That combined with her trusting my body to stretch naturally allowed me to birth two relatively large (close to 9 lb) babies without an epis. With my first i did have a mild tear (akin to a skinned knee) and no tears at all with #2.<br><br>
I did not do perineal massage.
 

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Sorry to be irreverent, but all I could think when I read this thread's title was maybe you could throw the bottle of oil at the OB when he or she approaches you with the scissors. A good glass bottle full of oil right upside the temple ought to do it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Actually, I don't know much about perineal massage for avoiding an episiotomy. I have heard that it helps to avoid tearing, but I've also heard that it doesn't make a difference. It seems like most episiotomies are done not because they are necessary, but because they are routine to the OB. I know there are times when they are necessary--I think in Spiritual Midwifery and Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, the author includes how many episiotomies were performed over the years at The Farm, and I am assuming that they really did feel those were medically necessary. I just don't know if using olive oil would make a difference to the OB or midwife in question in a hospital setting if they are not willing to abide by your wishes not to have an episiotomy.<br><br>
Oh well, I guess I'm just repeating what tinyshoes has already said.
 

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I also think that positioning and pushing when you feel like it (and not because people are yelling at you to push) are key to avoiding an episiotomy. We did perineal massage ahead of time, but my @#@!$#% medwife had me on my back with my knees pulled up and everyone was yelling "push push push" at me, much like in a hospital birth, and sure enough I ended up with an episiotomy. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry"><br><br>
Next time, I'm going to stay upright or on hands and knees, however *I* feel comfortable; NO ONE is going to yell at me to push or tell me when to do it, I'm only going to push when my body wants to; and I'm going to keep my fingers on myself to help ease the baby's head out in a way that feels comfortable to me.<br><br>
I also highly recommend getting a doula to be your advocate and keep the docs and their @#$#%$% scissors away. DH just wasn't able to be the advocate I needed him to be in the face of the pressure from the medwife.
 

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My midwife used olive oil as a lubricant, too. We didn't do any massage, but she did use moist, hot compresses (which felt incredibly good!) and also supported DS's head as it was crowning. I don't know that you would be able to get your OB to try these things if she/he isn't familiar with them, and I'm not sure how hospitals handle it if you try to use olive oil or have someone else using it and giving your perinium support.<br>
I agree, a doula would be a good route. Also not sure what any negative effects of using oil would be, but I'm thinking they can't be nearly as bad as that of an episiotomy!<br>
Steph
 

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We used oil for perineal massage about a wk prior to the birth and it may have helped (I didn't need an epis and I didn't tear). But this leads me to a question b/c I ended up w/a urinary tract infection (never had one in my life) and wonder if we unknowingly introduced bacteria. I'm wondering if the oil should be heated (then cooled) before using to "sterilze it". Anyone know the answer to that one?<br><br>
My midwife was awesome. She let me birth however I felt comfortable (ended up on my hands and knees on the bed). She guided my pushing (I only pushed when *I* felt the urge) and used warm compresses on my perineum. I had a couple of "skid marks" (slight abrasions along the labia...small price to pay for birthing a baby!), but had no vaginal tears, needed no "needlework" or epis.<br><br>
It helps to have an experienced midwife who is guiding you to do what your body is already doing.
 

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I did perineal massage about 1 week before I birthed, but did not use olive oil or any other oil during labor/delivery...<br>
I did birth in a birthing tub, which I think was a big influence on my not tearing or needing an episiotimy.<br>
Warm water makes the skin very supple.
 

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Double post. Sorry!
 

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We did perenial massage with our last pregnancy. I am not sure that it was the reason I did not tear. But, it was a wonderful way for DH and I to connect during pregnancy. We started PM the last two months of pregnancy and massaged one time per week. We would do a HypnoBirthing script and then keep the lights low and our relaxation music on. He'd get out a warmer little bowl of EV oil oil. It felt great and really helped him to see what was going on with my body. Whether it really helped me not tear or not doesn't really matter. We will do it again this pregnancy. In fact, my DH already asked, "When do we get to do that again!?!?!" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
You can do it by yourself. But, for us it was a great way to include him more in the preparation for birth.<br><br>
Oh, I should include -- I did not tear. During labor the MW's assistant used hot compresses on my perenium for our land birth. Jude was 7#, 2 oz, born with his hand up against his face.
 

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I labored in the hospital in a warm whirlpool. No episiotomy, no tears. My OB was very good about letting me stretch. It was so nice not having stitches!<br>
I do think water helps tremendously. I can see where the hot warm washcloths as compresses would help, too.
 

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We did lots of perineal masssage late in my pregnancy. And I didn't have an episiotomy. (Of course, I had an emergency cesarean instead... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> sorry, I just couldn't help myself...)<br><br>
Kristine
 

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I know a good way to avoid an epis--kick the scalpal out of the doc's hand!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> OR for him to sign a paper that he/she will not cut you w/o your written consent. I'm TOTALLY serious about this. Some docs are really cut-happy and believe it's worse to tear than to be cut. I think that's very wrong. It is possible to have a really bad tear with a birth, but the theory is that it is easier to heal than a really bad cut, since the edges are jagged, etc. But I guess that's not what this thread is about!<br><br>
To me the "skidmarks"--I HATE HATE HATE that term! PLEASE come up with another word, birth attendants!!! LOL But anyway, they were much more painful in healing than my teensy tinsy tear.<br><br>
I'm interested in trying the massage thing with dh. If he likes doing it, then maybe we'll continue. I guess it could help me connect with my perineum! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 
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