Vaginal Trauma During Childbirth… no thanks!
Vaginal birth is beautiful! Embrace the amazing power that comes from being able to birth a human out of your vagina. Sometimes this beauty can be clouded by fears of all the scary things that can happen to your body in the process. I know going into my delivery, vaginal tearing was TERRIFYING for me… not to mention the stitching after with the scary hook. And at the end of it, trying to get back to a normal life of comfortable sitting, pooping, or even the daunting return to sex.
I wanted to prepare my body as much as possible during my pregnancy. Avoiding as many potential complications as possible. This meant both mental and physical preparations! Research has shown perineal massage during pregnancy is beneficial. It helps decrease your risk for episiotomy, perineal trauma, and postpartum pain during sex. Sign me up!
When and why?
Begin during the 34-36th week of pregnancy, and continue for 5 minutes daily (or most days) throughout the remainder of pregnancy. The perineal body is the tissue between your vagina and your anus. While we want this tissue to be strong and intact, we also want it to be flexible enough to stretch during childbirth for our big ol’ baby’s head to fit through (embrace the image lol).
Grab your lube and get to stretching!
- Choose a comfortable position—sitting on toilet, in tub, standing in shower, lying in bed, legs draped over partners lap
- Lather up either you or your partner’s index or thumbs with PLENTY of lubrication
- Insert 2 index fingers or thumbs 1” into vaginal opening:
- Apply sustained pressure down until you begin to feel a deep stretch or slight burning sensation. Hold this for a little while and breath; relaxation is your friend!
- Then, continue to practice different slow, controlled stretching and massage techniques such as moving down and out to the sides in a ‘J’ or ‘U’ direction, and holding a stretch in various directions.
- Practice deep breathing, relaxing, imagining the baby’s head stretching this area. Learn to embrace and understand all of these sensations that are to be expected during the birth of your child!
Massage Postpartum with Same Concepts!
Whether you had tearing or not during your childbirth, if you have sex postpartum and it is painful right at the vaginal opening, then try this as well! Scar tissue mobility can improve with perineal massage and make postpartum sex much much more pleasurable!
- Reduce Your Risk of Tearing – ‘Know Your Options’ Bonus Episode 5 from The Birth Hour in Podcasts. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-birth-hour/id1041801905?mt=2&i=1000393586505
- Listen to 159| Two Birth Stories and Perineal Massage – Dr. Joanna Ellington from The Birth Hour in Podcasts. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-birth-hour/id1041801905?mt=2&i=1000385554882
- Perineal Massage Gel— http://www.fairhavenhealth.com/babyit-perineal-massage-postpartum-tear-gel