Sweet Pea Births

Chandler, Arizona

Sweet Pea Births

...celebrating every swee​t pea their birth


Q&A with SPB: Avoiding Epsiotomy and Perineal Tears

Posted on February 17, 2015 at 7:04 PM
Q: "What things can we do to help decrease the need for an episiotomy or the likelihood of a perineal tear?"  
A: Here is a list of seven things you can do during pregnancy and while you are in labor to birth with an intact perineum.  The written list and more ideas are listed below.

Here is a summary of today's VLOG on YouTube:

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonBradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson
My list from the VLOG:

  • Squatting throughout pregnancy
  • Kegel throughout pregnancy
  • Good nutrition, including healthy fats & oils
  • No soap on the perineum - it is drying
  • Lotion and massage - if desired and ok'd by care provider
  • Talk to care provider in advance about having an episiotomy versus tearing
  • Be patient during pushing phase of birth
  • Push with self-control
  • Ease or "breathe" the baby out
  • Remind doctor or midwife of your wishes at birth
  • Listen for the words "local" or "local anesthetic" - those are red flags for a jab and a cut!!

How can pelvic floor exercises help you if you are trying to avoid an episiotomy:

  • Kegels (pelvic floor contraction and relaxation) – during pregnancy it tones the muscle; a toned perineum encourages the baby’s chin to their chest making presenting part of the head smaller; control of the muscle helps slow down pushing if necessary to prevent tear
  • Squatting - during pregnancy it stretches and tones the muscle making it supple; during labor it opens outlet of pelvis making birth easier for you and the baby

A healthy pregnancy diet:  Eating well, including healthy fats and oils, promotes healthy, stretchable tissue
Some that we mention in class include

  • flax seeds or chia seeds in smoothies or sprinkled on top of salads
  • flax oil, walnut oil, or avocado oil as part of a salad dressing
  • heat-tolerant oils as ingredients in a marinade for cooking
  • lots of raw healthy fats: nuts and avocados

Perineal massage - talk to your care provider first – you can print THIS and THIS information and have a discussion with them

Concept behind "breathe your baby out"
Work with your breath and your contractions – only push when you have the urge to push, abdominal breaths between contractions, hold breath only as comfortable
More information not included in today's VLOG...I'm thinking we'll have to do a how-to for some of these...
If you have some uncomfortable perineal stretching or an episiotomy (even with awesome preparation, there are times when it happens for a healthy mom, healthy baby outcome), here are some comfort measures to ease the pain: 
Sitz bath twice a day with sea salt or herbs
Make an ice pack out of a diaper – slit through the middle and fill with ice.  The diaper absorbs the melting ice and supplies the coolness.
Fill a gallon bag with four maxi-pads (the non-stick kind) and soak them with witch hazel – then freeze them.  Pull out to use as needed on the perineum
Our midwives also introduced us to some items you can find on-line: perineal packs and some amazing herbs that will help with healing.  You can find them at http://www.everythingbirth.com/Birth-Supplies.html


The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.

Categories: Episiotomy

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