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Could any one provide me w/some info on the use of olive oil during pregnancy & labor to help avoid an episiotomy? Looking for specifics please - how to do it, when, how often, any risks?

(I am 32 weeks pg & having a hospital birth. I had an episiotomy during my last vbac, and am really hoping to avoid one this time.)

Any info would be appreciated. Thank you.
 

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We brought a squirt bottle of olive oil to the hospital for our doctor to use instead of mineral oil while he massaged/stretched the perineum. I have heard that mineral oil is drying to the skin, which is why olive oil is preferred.
 

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You know, I don't know why I never thought about but that post made me think......why not bring those squirt bottles to the hospitals already full of olive oil....or better yet fill the bottle in front of the doc with the newly opened bottle of olive oil so that it's more "sterile". I've had soooo many providers say that they don't do perineal massage because they don't have the oil, don't routinely do it, etc. Why not just break out the bottle and have it all ready for him or the partner to do? (if that's what the mom wants)
 

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I don't know of any rubbing of oil on while pregnant routines but certainly it couldn't hurt. My friend delivered her baby breach and the head was having a slightly hard time coming through. One doctor ran over with some scissors to cut the mama and she said, Don't cut me. The other doctor squirted a bunch of oil on the baby and vulva and she slipped right out. I think taking a bottle of oil with you is a fabulous idea.
 

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We used room temp olive oil at my HB and I birthed on my back with 14 minutes of pushing after dilation and did not tear.

Oceanbaby- mineral oil is a petroleum product. It never absorbs into skin, it makes a film on top. Glad you brought your own olive oil- baby oil is yucky stuff.
L
 

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ITA that avoiding a cut is all about not having anyone cut you. You have to find a provider who believes that women can birth without a pair of scissors. It kind of (more than kind of) infuriates me that doctors have managed to convince themselves (and millions of women) that our bodies are incapable of stretching. I'd like to know how many male doctors would like to be sliced... but I digress...

We don't mess with the perineum, no stretching or anything like that but we do pour copious amounts of warmed olive oil on the baby's head as it starts to appear. I don't know for sure if it helps but I have yet to see any suturing done at a birth so it certainly doesn't hurt!

Amy
 

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Thank you for posting this! I never considered using olive oil but I certainly will try it with my next birth.

When my son was born my midwive used warm compresses to avoid tearing but I tore severely anyway. It may have had to do with the fact that my son was born with his hand on his cheek. I was still glad that she did not do an episiotomy.
 

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I also want to say that I personally believe that a great way to keep from tearing is to keep your own hand on the baby's head as it crowns. You will instinctively maintain good flexion and it should help you keep your pushing slow and gentle.

 
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