9 moms share their experiences with tearing during birth & words of wisdom

DISCLAIMER: You can’t 100% avoid tearing, you can certainly do certain things to minimize your chances of tearing during birth. I am not a doctor or midwife or anything of the sort, but I’m a mama, ok?? So don’t come for me!😊 This post may also contain affiliate links. For more info check out my privacy disclosure.

Many moms, whether your a first time mama (ftm) or a mom of 5, fears tearing during birth. Some more than others, but that fear is there for most of us.

I didn’t tear during both my natural births (thank the Lord) however, till this day, the thought of it happening still scares me!😭

In fact, it’s the reason why one of the first (and most popular!) posts I published on the blog was about how to prevent tearing during childbirth.

My goal with this post is to help prepare you for the big day! I want to share with you the realities of birth while giving you hope that it is possible to reduce your risk of injury.

Now, in case you weren’t aware…

There are 4 degrees of tearing

1st degree tear: cut on surface (no muscles invovlved), superficial. Few or no stitches required.
2nd degree tear: deeper (muscles involved). Stitches required.
3rd degree tear: tear in vaginal tissue, perineal skin, & perineal muscles. Stitches required.
4th degree tear: tear in vaginal tissue, perineal skin, & perineal muscles, anal sphincter, & tissue underneath. Stitches required.

*crossing legs tightly* giiiiiiiiiiirl

 

Because this is such a hot topic, I decided to reach out to 9 awesome moms to have them chime in on their experiences with tearing during childbirth.

NOTE: It’s important to note that these women all had natural births, ranging from no pain relievers to ***laughing gas***.
***Laughing gas is quite different than other forms of pain relief. It doesn’t have any adverse effects on mom & baby, and it does not have any impact on the physiological process of labor, which is why I allowed it as the ONLY form of pain relief, for the purposes of this post.

These real mamas also share what they believe helped them not tear during subsequent births, & words of wisdom for moms who are afraid of tearing.

Why these 9 moms tore during childbirth, tips on how to avoid tearing, & words of wisdom for women who fear tearing during birth

Carly

What caused you to tear during birth [A]
I believe the tear was caused by pushing as hard as I possibly could without consciously relaxing at all.

How did you avoid tearing during birth [B]
The second time, I didn’t “push” – I let my BODY push – and I also made a conscious effort to relax my hands.

My friend Jamie from simplelivingmommy.com told me that when your hands are relaxed, your whole body will relax.

What are some words of wisdom you can share with a mom who is scared of tearing during childbirth?
Trust that your body CAN do this – it was designed to do this! You don’t have to “work” that hard to get baby out.

https://www.mommyonpurpose.com

Jessica

What caused you to tear during birth [A]
My son was in a posterior position.

How did you avoid tearing during birth [B]
I was adamant about a last minute ultrasound by my midwife to be sure my second son was in proper position. I also went through pelvic floor physical therapy and did kegels throughout my pregnancy!

What are some words of wisdom you can share with a mom who is scared of tearing during childbirth?
I’d encourage you to be diligent in requesting for your doctor or midwife to check for posterior position. And, as much as we all dread them-kegels! Do them!

mrspenningtonforyourthoughts.com

Christy

What caused you to tear during birth [A]
My first birth I had an epidural and hated that I couldn’t feel ANYTHING. They were telling me to push and I had no idea if I was!

I know that my pushes were less than effective and I ended up with a 2nd degree tear.

How did you avoid tearing during birth [B]
With my 2nd birth, I had been preparing with hypnobirthing methods and hired a doula to support me through an unmedicated birth.

My listening to hypnobirthing, while I fell asleep at night, I must have worked a little too well because I woke up in the middle of the night with contractions already 3 mins apart.

I allowed my body to do all the work and my nurse stretched me during very gentle pushing to help me deliver my 9lb 7oz baby in OB triage without my doula or even the Dr! (He didn’t make it on time!)

What are some words of wisdom you can share with a mom who is scared of tearing during childbirth?
Birth is scary because you don’t really know what happens until you’ve been through it. Trust your body, read Ina May’s book, and know that every birth us beautiful no matter how the babe arrives.

www.pecansandmagnolias.com

By the way, you can get Ina May’s book delivered to your doorstep today with Amazon Prime. By using my link, you’ll get a 30 day trial for Amazon Prime for FREE!

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Julia

What caused you to tear during birth [A]
Positioning was a huge factor. I was on my back in stirrups being coached by my doctor when to push. I also think scar tissue from a previous episiotomy contributed.

How did you avoid tearing during birth [B]
I had a water birth and was in a much more comfortable position. I also used a spray called Claraderm to massage my perineum several weeks prior to birth.

What are some words of wisdom you can share with a mom who is scared of tearing during
childbirth?

Listen to your body. Especially when it comes to birthing position, do what feels right
to you and follow your instincts!

wahlnutmama.com

April

What caused you to tear during birth [A]
My first labor was awful. I wasn’t fully prepared and fought the pain instead of trusting my body. My nursing staff never asked if I felt like pushing, they just told me to push. My body wasn’t ready and I tore and hurt for a long time.

How did you avoid tearing during birth [B]
I trusted myself and my body. My husband became my advocate in the delivery room, kept me calm and supported. He knew my birth plan and backed me up when I couldn’t talk. I listened to my body and let it do what it wanted to do.

What are some words of wisdom you can share with a mom who is scared of tearing during childbirth?
Your body knows what it’s doing. Trust yourself, trust your body.

Dana

What caused you to tear during birth [A]
My first birth was very fast! I delivered within 45 minutes of arriving to the hospital. I think the rush of the entire experience could have to do with it.

How did you avoid tearing during birth [B]
I was at the hospital with some time to spare the second time around! My midwife was experienced and I could feel her pulling and massaging the opening to help my baby enter the world without hurting me. I really think that had a lot to do with not tearing!

What are some words of wisdom you can share with a mom who is scared of tearing during childbirth?
Relax. Your body knows what it is doing…let your body take over and do what it’s supposed to do.

www.americanbredswedishbutter.com

9 real moms share their experiences with tearing during birth

Tiffany

What caused you to tear during birth [A]
I was coerced into being induced with my firstborn and my body wasn’t ready at all. It took 3 days in the hospital before my daughter made an appearance! All that stress on my body led to tearing and to a 2nd degree episiotomy because I was too tired to keep pushing much longer.

How did you avoid tearing during birth [B]
For my second birth, I went to the birth center after my body had gone into labor on its own. I spent lots of time walking around and gave birth squatting/standing. I think the gravity and the exercise helped my body to give birth to my 9 pound3 ounce baby boy with (relative) ease.

What are some words of wisdom you can share with a mom who is scared of tearing during childbirth?
Your body knows what to do. Give it time to get your baby out and you will hopefully avoid any major tearing.

www.savvymochamama.com

Jenna

What caused you to tear during birth [A]
OB not giving adequate support and requiring me to be in stirrups and on my back. This was my 2nd birth with no tears during my first.

How did you avoid tearing during birth [B]
I went on to birth 6 more babies (including a 9lb baby) without any tears. I attribute it to proper support and position.

What are some words of wisdom you can share with a mom who is scared of tearing during childbirth?
Follow your body’s cues. Have a support person watching your skin around the baby’s head so that when it loses color, you stop pushing and just breath through. When color returns, you can continue to push without tearing.

https://www.flipflopbarnyard.com

Ashleigh

What caused you to tear during birth [A]
I was coached while pushing which made me push WAY too hard, I was also forced on my back for my OBs convenience.

How did you avoid tearing during birth [B]
I waited for FER reflex and I pushed while in a kneeling position.
***FER reflex:

What are some words of wisdom you can share with a mom who is scared of tearing during childbirth?
Choose a position that feels right (try to stay off your back), wait for FER reflex to push, do not allow anyone in the room to coach you to push. Your body knows what to do… Listen.

Thank you SO much to all who participated!

That’s a wrap! I hope you found these moms’ tips helpful!

Until next time,

Feel free to drop me a line at heymallaury@lifeofababe.com or via Instagram. Fill out the form below to join my EXCLUSIVE email list. By signing up, you’ll receive helpful tips, and get notified every time a new blog post goes up. Subscribe now so you don’t miss out!

What are you most afraid of happening during childbirth?
What will you do to decrease your chances of tearing?
Comment below!

Comments

  1. Jalina says

    I was literally JUST thinking about vaginal tearing when this popped into my inbox! Hahaha! Thanks for this! Hoping for no tears with Baby #3! Laughing gas isn’t a standard option for us in the US. I’d have to do more research on it because I think you can request laughing gas, and it does interest me, but from what I’ve read, it can negatively affect some moms with the MTHFR gene mutation because their bodies can’t properly detox. Definitely worth looking into! By the way, your redesign is lovely.

  2. Kate says

    This is great! Thanks for sharing – loved hearing from other real mums and learning from their experiences. I tore with my first and required lots of stitches…and in hind sight I believe it was just from pushing too hard and not waiting for my body to take over more. I will know for next time…I’m going to be really ginger on the pushing! xx

    • Lifeofababe says

      You’re welcome and thanks for reading! Definitely listening to your body is important and can definitely help with lowering your chances of experience trauma next time.

      Take care! xx

  3. Brittany says

    Ouchies! Thank you for sharing these stories and tips! Some of us slide through without much damage but I know the wisdom shared here will make a difference for a lot of mamas!

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