Tearing During Labor

Labor is considered one of the most difficult ordeals a woman can go through. Along with the pains of labor, one factor that largely contributes to postpartum discomfort is tearing during labor.

Vaginal or perineal tears are common during childbirth. It is said that 9 in 10 women undergoing vaginal delivery might experience some type of vaginal tearing. A vaginal or perineal tear refers to an injury to the tissue around the vagina. There are four degrees of vaginal tears, the fourth degree being the most severe.

What If I tear

Vaginal tears are a common occurrence during labor, especially if it is your first vaginal delivery. It’s a natural occurrence since the baby expands the vagina and needs space to move out.

In case you get a vaginal tear, there is no need to panic! Our nurses and midwives are trained to take care of such situations. Once the baby is safely delivered, they will clean the wound site and will suture if needed to prevent further bleeding. Be assured that not all lacerations need stitches. Minor tears will heal on their own with proper care.

What To Do If It Happens

If you do tear during labor, there is no need to worry too much about it. Our midwives and nurses will be there to care for you and check on everything regularly to make sure it’s healing properly.

Here are some tips to promote healing in case you suffer a vaginal tear:

  • Avoid sitting for too long at a time since that may push pressure on the wound
  • Avoid constipation by drinking plenty of water and eating fiber postpartum
  • Use a wet wipe to pat yourself dry after using the toilet
  • Use water to clean the area after you use the toilet, this is to keep the area clean and prevent any infection

You can talk to us about any other concerns or problems, and we’ll be sure to tailor our care accordingly. If you seek pain relief via other methods such as medicine or cooling pads, let us know and we’ll try our best to assist you.

3 Ways To Help Prevent Tearing

At Birth Center Stone Oak we believe in making labor as comfortable for you as we possibly can! You can talk to us about ways to prevent vaginal tears with things you can do during your antenatal period.

Some things that may help to prevent a perineal tear include:

1. Supplements and Healthy Food

Nourishing your body with healthy food and nutrients is not only essential for you and your baby’s health but also prepares you for comfortable labor. There are a number of safe supplements for pregnancy that you can take to strengthen yourself.

Some of them include: 
  • Prenatal vitamins
  • Folate
  • Iron
  • Vitamin D
  • Magnesium

Of these, iron is important to prevent anemia during pregnancy, so when you experience bleeding, your body can handle the blood loss without compromising your health. Vitamin D assists bone strength too, especially with changes that occur in pregnancy.

Other than supplements, be sure to nourish your body with healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. These provide you with energy and stamina, preventing you from burning out during labor. A healthier body means greater muscle integrity, helping the chances of avoiding tearing during labor.

2. Water Birth

At Birth Center Stone Oak, we offer you the option to deliver in a birthing pool. It is said that being underwater helps you relax, and it also relaxes musculature, which ultimately makes vaginal tears less likely. It has also been observed that vaginal tears that happen in water births are usually minor and won’t be third or fourth-degree tears.

3. Trained Midwifery Support

The techniques by which you push play a significant impact on how your labor progresses. Our team of midwives at Birth Center Stone Oak are trained to guide you throughout your labor in ways to prevent vaginal lacerations.

We have a number of resources and services available at Birth Center Stone Oak to ease the process of labor, including many methods aimed at helping you relax and decrease discomfort and pain during labor.

We’ll be happy to talk to you about any concerns or questions you might have. For specialized classes or specific questions, visit us at Birth Center Stone Oak, or you can send us a message or call us at 210-481-7549.