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(15 Posts)
titmouse Tue 16-Sep-08 15:55:11

I've read a lot on this board about tearing during labour and I can imagine what it is, but does it happen to every woman?

NatalieJaneIsPregnantAgain Tue 16-Sep-08 15:59:18

Not every woman no.

I was told over and over before I had DS1 that I wouldn't feel a tear, and it wouldn't hurt etc. I thought how the hell can you not feel skin ripping? But, it is true, there is so much other stuff going on that you really won't feel any tear.

FWIW, I didn't tear with DS1 but did with DS2, DS1 scratched me on the way out, badly enough to warrent stiching but I didn't feel a thing either time.

NatalieJaneIsPregnantAgain Tue 16-Sep-08 15:59:45

Sorry, stitching.

lulumama Tue 16-Sep-08 16:02:30

not every woman tears, no. and there are degrees of tearing, some of which don;t even require stitching. you can get grazing to the labia too. which sting.

as your baby's head crowns, the tissues stretch very thing, and become numb, so you don;t very often feel the tear...

a controlled delivery, a delivery in water, a delivery in a position other than on your back can all help avoid tearing

perineal massage can help too

Snaf Tue 16-Sep-08 16:04:30

No. That's the short answer smile

It is more likely to happen with a quick, uncontrolled delivery of the baby's head and/or shoulders. The likelihood of tearing can also be increased by the position you give birth in - more likely if you are lying on your back or squatting.

There are different 'degrees' of tears, too. A 1st-degree tear just involves the skin of the perineum and is relatively unproblematic, but a 4th-degree (rare) affects the muscles of the anus etc and, if not dealt with effectively, can be a very big deal in terms of stitching, healing and future continence problems, etc

Giving birth in water can be helpful, so can all-fours position, a nice controlled delivery of the head, no directed pushing etc. Perineal massage can't hurt either.

titmouse Tue 16-Sep-08 16:29:35

thanks ladies!
A friend of mine had tearing at her home birth and they had to take her to hospital for stitiching, I was wondering how likely it is to happen, as it sounded a right palaver.

tinkhasanactivebean Tue 16-Sep-08 17:41:53

i tore with dd 2nd degree as had to have a vontouse (cap to head) as she wasnt coming out.
didnt feel actual tearing @ the time very sore after when weeing and couldnt walk that well or stand for long periods for 2 weeks after not nice

ajm200 Tue 16-Sep-08 17:58:29

Lots of perineal massage and stopping pushing when the MW says so that they can support the perinium helps. The MW I saw last time said that lots of pelvic floor exercises also help as they increase blood flow to the area, allow it to stretch more and give you more control in labour.

I had a big baby, was very very bruised but had no tearing.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 16-Sep-08 18:12:09

Message withdrawn

Chequers Tue 16-Sep-08 18:14:22

I had tearing and an episiotomy so tons of stitches but it really wasn't that bad.

Healed within a week, can't even see the scars now (5 weeks).

broodymom Tue 16-Sep-08 18:18:56

I had a bad tear after delivering dd1 but then again she was 9lbs 13oz shock and i needed stitches but i can honestly say i never felt one bit of the tear happening and when they were stitching me i was too amazed by my baby to even notice. Dont worry yourself with what will happen you really do forget when your baby is born xx

Ps not to take away from people who have had traumatic births (mine was pretty traumatic also) but i really did forget it all the moment she was born.

SmugColditz Tue 16-Sep-08 18:20:35

I had 2 babies over eight lb, and am 5'2

I didn't tear.

SmugColditz Tue 16-Sep-08 18:21:54

Actually I had a 0.5 cm tear with ds1, which I didn't notice and has never caused me a second thought, it didn't need stitching and actually I'd forgotten about it!

feeble Tue 16-Sep-08 19:20:00

I tore with both of my nearly 9 lb babies but it was just felt a relief for me. My first was really bad and was stiched in theatre but even so never gave me any problems. I tore the second time despite a episiotomy so wont be going down that route again!

feeble Tue 16-Sep-08 19:21:12

sorry to clarify - I wont be having a episiotomy again - not another birth! grin

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