How did you give birth after a 3rd degree tear?

(25 Posts)
MayimBialik Tue 21-May-13 23:12:54

Not pregnant yet but starting to think about this. I have one DC, with whom I suffered a 3rd degree tear. Feeling all fine now (6 months later) but often worry that I'd be pushing my luck giving birth naturally again. And then on the other hand I feel sad that I may not give birth naturally again.

Would love to hear of people's experiences of subsequent births after a 3rd (or 4th) degree tear grin

cravingcake Wed 22-May-13 06:42:18

I personally will be opting for an ELCS, i had a 4th degree tear and traumatic labour first time so this is the right thing for me.

I have a friend who had a 3rd degree tear with her first who has recently had her 2nd and she gave birth naturally, and in only a couple of hours of going into labour and arriving at hospital, without any tears.

jumperooo Wed 22-May-13 07:02:35

Haven't you had any follow up appointments and the endo rectal ultrasound yet, to check the healing and muscle tone? I had DD 7 months ago with a 3c tear. After about 3 months I had two consultant follow up appointments (chats), an internal with physio to check pelvic floor strength, and an ultrasound at six months where they check healing and tell you if you can likely have a natural birth again. It's based on your individual recovery and extent of the tear. I was told elcs only next time due to severity of tear that hasn't fully healed but two people I know also had third degree tears and both got the all clear for further v.b at the 6 month ultrasound

Hopefully Wed 22-May-13 19:44:22

I had ELCS. It was wonderful. I felt I was well prepared for first birth (hypnobirthing, g&a only, allowed to move as I wanted, fab midwives), and didn't see what more I could do to reduce the risk second time round, and for me the known recovery of a CS was a better option than the possibility of recovering from another 3rd degree tear.

Mine was a bad 3rd degree and I had reasonably severe PPH as well, fwiw.

3rd degree here. I was offered a caesarean but the idea seemed strange to me even though the tear took a long time to recover from emotionally and physically.

Second time around, labour was faster, I was in a better position as was dd. I had a second degree this time but within a few days I couldn't feel it and it's been no trouble at all. I was dropping ds off at nursery after a week or so.

I also had a PPH as well first time - all linked to the reasons for the tear.

MrsBungle Wed 22-May-13 19:53:59

Similar to as creature

I had 3 degree tear first time after forceps birth. I was offered c section second time but consultant thought there was no reason why it should happen again.

I had a natural birth second time, very quick and easy. Couple of stitches were needed but that was it. Second birth was excellent .

MayimBialik Thu 23-May-13 03:41:49

Thanks for your replies. I've had a a follow up with nurses checking my pelvic floor, asking about my bladder and bowel control a bit half heatedly. (Pointless as was in and out in 5 mins and during part of that she felt the need to get a diagram out and explain what a third degree tear was - as if i didn't know - using terminology such as 'wee hole'!!!) I had another appointment with another nurse who was slightly less patronising who gave me a transrectal ultrasound and tested muscle strength. She told me all looked 'fine' and said affair as she was concerned she would want to preserve that so would recommend ELCS. She said she was coming from a "bottom point of view only though"

So, who knows really. I also haven't been told whether it was a 3a, b or c. I did ask my GP once but they told me my notes didn't say.

MayimBialik Thu 23-May-13 03:42:44

That should say "follow up with a nurse" sorry

When you get pregnant again and see a MW it should be on your labour notes?

Ozfrazror Thu 23-May-13 07:14:31

I was the same as creatureretorts. I had a 3rd with my first which healed really well (didn't have any of the follow up scans or physio though sad

With my second I really wanted a natural delivery but the tear was massively on my mind. However, things are a little bit more relaxed second time around and I felt more informed about what stage of pushing I was at so I could better control it. I really listened to the midwives but I also ended up with a 2nd degree tear. Just like creature though, it felt like nothing in comparison and healed within a week.

I've since had a 3rd dc and that was my best yet grin No tears and all natural.

Good luck but I'd say choose whatever method makes you feel safest.

Elcs and it was wonderful grin

I did feel a bit sad to not have anotheer vaginal birth, but the risks of future (post-menopausal) faecal incontinence are much higher (properly high) with another vb. There is evidence based advice on this but I can't link as I'm on my phone.

Every medical professional recommended an elcs for this reason. I think the things is to be aware of the risks you're taking if you go for a vb and then you can decide whether they're worth it.

They weren't for me!

jumperooo Thu 23-May-13 09:49:08

Whereabouts are you? You should have follow ups with consultant and an ultrasound at 6/7 months

HandMini Thu 23-May-13 09:53:54

I had a 3b tear, which healed well and had a VB for my second birth. No tears at all that time round (couldnt believe it, --tho was secretly aghast that that means my fanjo had lost its, er, youthfulness--). No one even suggested an ELCS and when I mentioned it, the midwives said even if I tore again, no reason why healing wouldn't be good a second time round.

I didn't have a 3rd degree tear, but a bad 2nd degree tear which did not heal well and had to be restitched. I had an appointment with the consultant who did the repair when I was about 34 weeks who examined me and said that he thought a vaginal birth would be fine, but he would be happy to do an ELCS if I really wanted one. I chose a vaginal delivery. I had a very good labour and an episiotomy was performed, from which I recovered really well, so I was very happy with my decision overall smile

jumperooo Thu 23-May-13 10:04:25

Sorry just saw you've had the ultrasound!

The consultant who did my ultrasound said if all looks ok on the scan and there's no bowel issues they will generally recommend/encourage vaginal birth for the "vast majority" of 3rd degree tear patients as most will not be affected next time around.

I would think unless you are specifically advised not to give birth naturally next time (I was, and had a letter sent in the post to clarify recommendation, it says positioning of tear that is still defective will not cope with trauma of another vaginal delivery and increased risk of long term incontinence and reconstructive surgery ) then natural birth should be fine next time. A friend had a 3b first time and a natural birth with no issues second time.

Chubfuddler Thu 23-May-13 10:14:11

ELCS. Bliss.

Hopefully Thu 23-May-13 19:04:51

It's really positive seeing that everyone on here so far had a really positive second birth, whether they went natural or CS. Good luck with whichever you choose OP.

MiaowTheCat Thu 23-May-13 20:20:34

Hadn't gone to follow ups over the first birth (hospital subsequently gave me flashbacks as I had PTSD from it all) - pregnant again and in labour 11 months after with loads of fears of permanently ripping my vagina out of my body etc etc...

Total dream - she flew out after a very very fast labour (caught the staff out totally) and I needed a couple of stitches from a very very tiny 2nd degree one.

IfYouCanMoveItItsNotBroken Thu 23-May-13 22:10:25

Decided on a natural birth for my second child after 3rd degree tear with first. Consultant was known to be very conservative and does not do any c sections which are not medically indicated. Sadly it ended in another 3rd degree tear and, although it wasn't such a bad tear, it left me quite incontinent (urge incontinence I think he called it) for quite some time. I'm still not 100percent in this regard. I had a different consultant for pregnancy number 3 who was keen on a section, he said I had so much scar tissue he would worry what permanent damage another such tear could do. C section was the most painless and easiest to recover from of my births. I hope I haven't scared you, the majority of people seem to have a happier second birth!

mummyTP2 Mon 27-May-13 12:48:24

With my first officially I had a second degree tear but midwife said she was considering putting it down as 3rd degree so it was somewhere inbetween, I had my second 7weeks after my firsts 2nd birthday and to be honest my second birth was better, and I only had 1st degree tear from second

oranges Mon 27-May-13 12:53:56

I had an ecls. Consultant was quite conservative about it - initially suggesting natural birth, but once I said I wanted an ecls, he breathed a sigh of relief, said that's what he'd recommend but was not allowed to officially. I did not want to risk incontinence problems. the ecls was wonderful, I breastfed much better after it and healed more easily too.

learnermummy Mon 27-May-13 22:30:04

I had third degree tear with my first, but healed well with no issues. Second baby flew out with very slight tear along scar but no stitches needed.

cakesonatrain Tue 28-May-13 13:58:36

3a with Dc1, dc2 19 months later, 2nd degree tear (but she did rather rush out - I barely even pushed!).

Nobody ever suggested I should do anything other than have a vaginal delivery 2nd time.

ktbeegirl Thu 06-Mar-14 17:20:18

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