There is no denying that there are plenty of things to prepare yourself for to get ready for the birth of your baby. There is the nursery, carseat, clothes, breathing techniques and the possibility of a perineal tear amongst other things.
What is a perineal tear? The perineum is the area between your vagina and anus and sometimes during a vaginal birth a woman can tear when the baby makes their way out.
Your doctor may suggest getting an episiotomy and this is where they will surgically cut the perineum to enlarge the vaginal area. This is something that you should look into before birth so that you can make the decision that is right for you on wether you want an episiotomy or not.
While tearing is common during birth there are four different degrees of tears that range from small to serious.
The first degree tear involves the tissue around the opening of the vagina and outer part of the vagina but it does not involve any muscles. These are usually small only require a few stitches if any at all and heal rather quickly.
A second degree tear go deeper and into the muscles which require more time to heal and slightly more discomfort. The stitches that are placed will dissolve on their own.
Third and fourth degree tears are more serious and have the possibility of causing some other issues while healing like anal incontinence. A third degree tear goes through the vaginal tissue the perennial tissue and muscle as well as the anal sphincter which is the muscle surrounding the anus. A fourth degree tear would also go through the tissue under the anal sphincter. These tears can take months to heal and cause a considerable amount of pain.
There are some things that you can do that have been said to help prevent tearing look out for Perineal Tearing 102 soon! Or you can talk to you doctor, midwife or doula for possible suggestions.