How to Protect Your Perineum From a Tear or Episiotomy
Damage to vaginal tissues during birth is a common concern. It usually takes longer to heal with a tear or a cut and can make your postpartum experience unpleasant.
Following these simple steps can help reduce your chances of having a tear or getting an episiotomy.
5 Steps to Protect Your Perineum From a Tear or Episiotomy
1. Choose your caregiver carefully.
Some doctors routinely cut episiotomies whether it is medically indicated or not. Some doctors will let the tissues stretch to see if an episiotomy is necessary. You should ask your caregiver this question before you get too far into your pregnancy if this is an issue that you feel strongly about.
2. Eat nutritious foods during your pregnancy.
Nutritious foods will help promote healthy tissue growth. If you do tear or have an episiotomy, having a good diet will help you heal faster.
3. During the pushing phase, use spontaneous pushing instead of directed pushing.
Spontaneous pushing just means that you follow your body instead of the doctor or nurse telling you to push. Following your body allows you to push only when you feel the urge.
4. During delivery, use positions like hands and knees, and side-lying that make birth more efficient and your tissue less likely to tear from too much push pressure.
5. Work with your caregiver during delivery and really slow down your pushing as the head is born.
If you can work together to have a nice, gentle birth, the tissues are less likely to be damaged because they’ve had more time to stretch.
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