Who better to ask than you lovely ladies? With DS, I had a second degree tear. I didn't feel anything at the time (thank you hypnobabies) but looking back I think the tear and the resulting stitches were the WORST part of the whole experience. I am wondering if because I already tore once, if I am likely to tear along the scar, or if there is a way to keep it from happening? Has anyone torn during their first delivery and not during subsequent deliveries? Did you do anything differently to keep it from happening the second time? I did push him out kind of fast at the end, so I know that's part of why I tore, but I would be SO HAPPY if I didn't have to have any stitches this time around. I am planning to do a little better with the perineal massage this time and to try not to push at all if possible since I'm guessing it will be a quick labor (talking to my midwives about not doing any pushing beyond what my body does on its own). But I just wonder if it's kind of inevitable that I will tear because I already did once?
It sounds to me like what you're already doing (perineal massage and trying to avoid aggressive pushing) probably WILL give you the best chance of not tearing again. Maybe ask your midwives if they can give you massage during labor, too.
I totally agree with you about the healing from that being a really bad experience, though. I only had a first degree "with a slight plus" tear, but it took forever and a day to heal, and I remember being really mad that nobody had warned me about that part of having a new baby.
There is a good chance you wont tear with other babies. I know several women who tore with their first but never their second. Slower pushing will help aid with that and having your provider put pressure on your perineum while you are pushing should help as well.
I know for me after having two episiotomy's, healing from a tear has been so much easier and less painful. But still not a cake walk and I would prefer to not heal from any tear or cut down there.
What position were you in when you pushed last time? Was your bottom being supported? There are lots of.factors that go into weather or not you will tear. For example, my first baby was a typical on your back, purple pushing birth. He was posterior. I tore. Second baby, nothing, third baby was 5lb 12 oz and flew out so fast I had a second degree tear. My do it my way home birthed babies were like 2 and 3 pounds heavier than my first 3 didn't cause any damage at all.
Dylan 4/22/04, Devon 6/24/06,Dorothy 9/13/07, Derek 12/19/09, Daniel 12/18/10, Daphne 2/24/12
Mindie and Mark, 5/16/09
I was lying on by left side with someone holding my leg up and someone else pushing on my back. I pushed him out in 2 pushes and I think I tore during the first one, his head came out fast, so there wasn't a lot of time for counterpressure. My midwife had been doing perineal massage earlier and warm compresses, but I don't think anyone was touching that part of me when he actually came out. I'm not sure about that, I was pretty in the zone and not really paying any attention to anything other than getting the baby OUT. He had worked his way down a lot before I even had any urge to push, and was ready to enter the world with very little pushing from me, so if it goes the same way this time, I'd like to try not pushing at all and just let the contractions do the work and just see if it will happen a bit slower. But I just have to see what my body wants to do.
I had a second degree with my first and nothing with my second. I know the reason for this was the fact with my first I was on my back and be directed to push, with #2 I was squatting/in water/and directing myself on the pushing and she evenwill had her hand by her face! I think the position you birth in is going to make the biggest difference as to whether you tear or not.
DS Ethan 1/29/08,
DD Lola 2/2/10
DS2 Weston 2/18/12
There was a question posted on the facebook site Birth Without Fear recently from a lady that ended up with a 4th degree tear. There are tons of responses from ladies saying that they tore really bad with one but not with subsequent births and some ways they tried to avoid it. If you "like" her site and go down through the posts, it was posted on Wednesday at 5:07pm. It might be worth reading the responses.
I had 2nd degree tears with my first 3 births. My babies are all big and they come out quickly. I work in maternity and I always am astonished at how controlled some women are. My babies come fast and furious... My body pushes, it isn't me. More of a "the baby is coming out right now!!!" sensation.
I healed ok, but getting stitched up and poked and prodded after giving birth just sucks!!
Anyways with my 4th baby, my mw and I talked at length about my desire to not tear. In the end, I did tear a bit... literally two stitches where my old scar started to tear. All in all though, I was pretty pleased. She was the biggest of all my babies by quite a bit, I tried very hard not to push (resulting in my second longest 2nd stage - 8 minutes - lol!). I also delivered her in kneeling position (on my knees leaning against my bed) which puts a lot less pressure on the perineum which I think helped a lot.
Now that I'm expecting my 5th, I hoping to not tear at all. There is a slightly bigger space between kids so hopefully the scar will have healed more.
You are not doomed to tear! Speak with your mw/doctor about warm compresses, counter pressure, and all those good things!
I had an epesiotomy and tore twice on the inside with my first baby. I've had three more children since and haven't torn once! This last baby was rather large (over 9lbs!) so I just made sure to do the perineal massage (and had DH play a little more down there) to make sure that everything would go smoothly during delivery. Not only was everything perfect, he came out in one push! Good luck!
Krystal & Donovan - 12/2/06
Reagan - 10/2/02
Maximus - 3/10/05
Liberty - 12/11/08
My angel in Heaven 1/7/13
I also tore with my first and not with my second or third. I pushed in a sii-seated position with both #1 and #2 and had coached pushing with both of them (though I had an epidural with #1 and did not have one with #2) and I still didn't tear with #2. #3 was a waterbirth with true mother-directed pushing and nobody touching me, and not only did not tear, I also did not have swelling in my labia, which was amazing to me. I think tearing is more common with first births because the skin has never stretched like that before, but it stretches easier with other births..