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Tearing/stitches inevitable with first?

(45 Posts)
Jsa1980 Sun 20-Jan-13 21:45:35

I'm 29 weeks and currently measuring two weeks over. I'm guessing this baby might be a big one.

I just wondered if tearing was inevitable as it's my first. I'm absolutely bricking it about forceps and stitches. Do I need to get over it and accept that it's going to happen?

Good or bad stories welcome.

StrawberryMojito Sun 20-Jan-13 21:52:36

I had 7lb 5oz boy and I had ventouse/forceps delivery and tore badly. However a very petite friend of mine also had an average size baby and found it a doddle, no stitches, no intervention. You will get positive and negative stories, so no, you don't have to accept the fact that you will tear and need stitches but maybe keep an open mind to the possibility. By the way, even if you do need a few, it is not the end of the world and your body will no doubt heal well.

aimingtobeaperfectionist Sun 20-Jan-13 21:53:23

I don't think tearing and stitches are 'inevitable'. I did tear with my first but I just wanted to assure you it didn't hurt! It was very odd, I could feel it happening but more of a sensation than a pain IYKWIM?
Three of my friends did not tear with their first.
My DD was 8lb11 so not small but I didn't need forceps. I'm not sure size makes a big difference? One friends DD was 6lb and she had ventuse.
Try not to worry too much, whatever happens at the time is what needs to happen. I was terrified of being cut but honestly, if I'd needed it at the time is have had it.

ToomuchWaternotWine Sun 20-Jan-13 22:01:37

Nope it's not inevitable at all, and size doesn't seem to have much to do with it actually, on a straw poll of my friends. I had a loooooong labour with a 8lb 1 baby and no tear or stitches at all. Others had 9lbers, same. Friends who had smaller babies but much quicker deliveries had stitches.

I know how you feel, the whole way thru pregnancy the only thing that freaked me out was the idea of an episiotomy, I just squirmed totally at the idea of being "cut" BUT when you are at end of labour, you honestly don't care what happens as long as the baby comes OUT in one piece smile

KittyLilith Sun 20-Jan-13 22:10:56

Nope. Not inevitable. I didn't tear with DS1 (7lb 12) or DS2 (8lb 4). Good luck.

FirstTimeForEverything Sun 20-Jan-13 22:11:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KittyLilith Sun 20-Jan-13 22:12:30

I forgot to mention DS1 was a ventouse delivery too and still no stitches.

Izpie Sun 20-Jan-13 22:17:59

Both mine were born without tearing or any interventions, had an epidural with the first so doesn't necessarily follow that epidurals lead to interventions either. Neither were particularly big, 5.13 and 6.13, but both dh & I are on the small side. You'll probably find by the time you get to that point in the birth you're so close to meeting your baby it won't matter as much as you think it will, you'll just want him/her out & in your arms. Good luck!

Gracefulbirth Sun 20-Jan-13 22:19:08

I wouldn't says tearing or stitches are ever inevitable! Many mums give birth to "big" babies without a scratch!
And there are a few "tears" and "grazes" that never require any stitches!
If it's something you're worried about, there are certain circumstances in which you are more/less likely to tear....and it's worth exploring them.
Here's a good link, and even though it's talking about home birth, there is still a lot you can get from it.

egdeh Sun 20-Jan-13 22:24:05

I had fairly speedy labour with dd1 (arrived hospital at 9.30, she arrived 10.20!). She was a very average 7lb 4 and I didn't tear.
Had 2 more since, similar labours, bigger babies and had 1 stitch with each but the sensations in labour were no different/ worse than with dd1, so tearing wasn't something I felt happen.
So not inevitable no, but it might happen. Thing is you probably won't notice or care when you are in labour and afterwards hopefully your new baby will more than make up for whatever you experience in childbirth.

MediumOrchid Sun 20-Jan-13 22:31:06

I just a 'graze' when I had dd, which didn't need stitches and has healed fine. The size of the baby doesn't always make a difference. A water birth is supposed to help avoid tearing, apparently - not that I got one, as I had to be induced!

Doinmummy Sun 20-Jan-13 22:33:22

I had an 8 pounder and didn't tear. The midwife said its because I did as I was told. ie stopped pushing when she said.

Jsa1980 Sun 20-Jan-13 22:33:56

Thank you. Glad to here it's not inevitable, but I also recognise that I need to be prepared for it to happen. Guess it's true what people say I really won't care what happens at the time

Wolfiefan Sun 20-Jan-13 22:38:13

I tore with both of mine. Healed well and didn't really notice at the time! I was a bit busy!?!
I seem to be totally unable of just "breathing the baby out". The MW at my second birth advised me to give a little push but then said "or you can just do that!" As DD flew out!!
I wouldn't worry too much. Big could mean long rather than a huge head! I tend to have biggish babies and always felt gravity was on my side.
As far as episiotomies etc? If it were necessary then anything to get baby out safely.

TheDarkSideOfTheSpoon Sun 20-Jan-13 22:40:50

I didn't tear with either of mine. Dd1 was 9lb 2oz and a very speedy induced labour, about 5 hours from start to finish. dd2 was 9lb 8oz water birth, a very quick 2.5 hours from waters broken to baby in arms.

I think the reason I avoided a tear with dd1's birth is that I had a wonderful midwife who told me exactly when to push/not to push, and most importantly I listened to her and did as I was told for the first time in my life

Dd2's birth was an altogether more 'relaxed' affair and I think the reason I didn't tear with her, despite her considerable size and her fist being up against her cheek, is that I was more relaxed and could feel what my body was telling me. It was one of those "breath it out" births that nobody ever believes but I'm sure it's why I was able to remain intact.

As other posters have said, when you're in the moment you will just want your baby born safely and the episiotomy won't seem such a scary prospect if it comes to it. Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy and your birth smile

LittlePicnic Sun 20-Jan-13 22:42:58

To help use special perineum oil ( they sell it at mothercare) and from now until the birth, gently massage the area daily. This will help make the area more supple and stretch the skin ( giving it a helping hand). I did this with DC1 and only needed two stitches. I didn't so much with DC2 and needed more.

yummum19 Sun 20-Jan-13 22:47:17

Not at all smile I didn't tear at all with my first, she was 6lb14oz. Try not to worry too much about what may or may not happen and just go with the flow. It won't matter so much when your holding your bundle of joy. Good luck!

TheBrideofMucky Sun 20-Jan-13 22:48:22

I was also terrified of tearing / being cut but it didn't happen to me either time so definitely not inevitable. I only know two other new mothers who had to have stitches out of nine of us.

Agree with what others have said, although the prospect is horrifying, both agreed it didn't hurt at the time as you would expect it to.

I just kind of accepted that it might happen without thinking too much about it as I was so scared. Hopefully you will be lucky too.

Jsa1980 Sun 20-Jan-13 22:49:06

Thank you, I will look into using the oil, if I can still reach!

Will the midwife tell you how long and how hard to push for to limit any damage?

Princesspond Sun 20-Jan-13 22:59:08

I had an epidural with my first and didn't tear but had a slight nick/graze that the midwife didn't stitch. With my second no epidural and had similar sounding nick/graze which they did decide to stitch (I didn't look at either). I was a bit sad but I would just say the recovery after the stitch was actually much quicker. As doinmummy says at the end try to listen to the midwife and stop pushing when you are told. You have to concentrate though, all I wanted to do was push that baby out ASAP!

Overberries Sun 20-Jan-13 23:06:47

Had an awful time with DC1, shoulder dystocia and 4th degree tear. Since then I've always wondered if more could be done at antenatal to prepare for the fall out (no pun intended!) of a physically traumatic birth. I guess you run the risk of freaking everyone out which is not ideal. I was completely unprepared for all this and the lengthy recovery though. But since you are worrying about it, I'll add that after all that trauma both DS and I are absolutely fine and it's all a hazy and crazy memory. Good luck, I'm sure you'll be fine x

MrsPennyapple Sun 20-Jan-13 23:07:03

I also used the oil and did a bit of perineal massage (yes, it is difficult to reach!) and only had a teeny tiny graze. DD was only 6lb 12 though, but she was born very quickly, which I've heard is more likely to lead to tearing.

My midwife was saying things like "big push" and then "little pushes" and I just did what she said.

FirstTimeForEverything Mon 21-Jan-13 08:42:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

arghhelpme Mon 21-Jan-13 08:49:53

Ds1 was 8lb 14. Easy labour, slight graze and no stitches.

Ds2 was 7lb 12. Painful labour, i tore and had stitches.

DangerMousey Mon 21-Jan-13 10:46:39

DS1 ws 9lb 3oz with a head circumference on the 91st centile!

I had a natural labour with gas and air, and I had a 2nd degree tear. I didnt feel it when it happened, the stitching up was fine (not the most pleasant experience of my life, but not awful...a bit like being at the dentist or something: not nice but you just have to be brave!).

Afterwards, I couldnt really feel the stitches much, had some dull pain in my fanny area, but nothing a couple of paracetamol every 4 hours couldn't handle.

Not trying to sound smug: just saying, I was really scared of tearing too, and the idea of stitches horrified me, but it really wasnt that bad and they healed fine within a couple of weeks. I just didnt look down there, tried to ignore it and took paracetamol for a few days till the swollen soreness felt better.

Six weeks down the line everything is fine.

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