Hello swottybetty Just looking through the messages and found yours.
I am currently ttc#2 my dd is 8 and i was induced with her. I was told that almond oil (or olive oil) rubbed in on the bit that tears (sorry tmi) stops this from happening. I gave it a try as was also told that horse riders have the worst time EVER and thats what i do.
Anyway it worked i didnt have one stitch nor did i tear. Harriet was born in 5 hours and it really didnt hurt (down there)
They stole mine too in the first birth (3 hours of straining whilst pushing), which is why I demanded it for my second (20mins no pushing).
Some people think it stops you from focussing and putting in the hardwork at the end. However, if you don't consider the 2nd stage to require hardwork and want to let your body get on with it in its own way and time then there is no reason why you shouldn't have gas and air. In fact it can help you to relax and enable your body to do it effeciently.
I was looking at the NICE labour care guidelines (don't ask...!) and apparently a really good way to help is for the MW to have her hands ready as the baby crowns, and to hold it very gently in place for a moment while you stretch the final bit for it to come out. It depends presumably on if you're happy to be touched at that stage of labour, but it supposedly made a big difference to the number of women having tears.
perineal stretching/massage = good idea, with or without oil.
I had no tearing despite induction - was checked at 11:30 pm and found to be 1cm dilated, told I would be checked again at 3:30am and if I hadn't progressed would be given syntocin; but I delivered at 2am, almost by myself in the observation room - had to send DH for a mw as baby's head crowned before they arrived, and DS was born 3 mins later. I was on my left side throughout stage 2 labour, only pushing when I had to (tried not to the first time but it hurt too much not to so went with it after that) and after about half an hour of stage 2, I felt baby move down and sent DH off.
The mw who came and cleaned me up said that lying on the left side is a good way to avoid tearing (makes you wonder why they don't suggest it then, doesn't it!)
So - perineal massage, lying on left side and no mw intervention during stage 2 labour are my recommendations! Good luck
My DP assures me that my 2nd degree tear didn't occur when I delivered the head but because my baby kicked out his foot as he was delivered - so not convinced it would have mattered what position I was in!!