5 ways to reduce your risk of tearing

September 16, 2021

5 ways to reduce your risk of tearing

Is tearing during birth one of your biggest fears?

For so many people, tearing in birth is a real worry. But guess what - there's so much that you can do to reduce your risk of tearing! Here are 5 tips to get you started...

1. Get off your back! The vast majority of women in the UK give birth laying on their backs. This means that your baby's head is directed into your perineum - the part which most commonly tears during birth. Giving birth in upright, active birth positions means you have far more space for your baby to descend and your perineum is able to stretch as you birth your baby. 

2. Relax! Learning and practicing hypnobirthing techniques will mean that your mind and body are more relaxed. As with any muscle or body part, the more relaxed it is, the more easily it can move and stretch. 

3. Give birth in water! Being in warm water - whether thats a birth pool or a bath - will mean that your body can stretch more easily, you are likely to be more relaxed and the buoyancy of the water supports more upright positions. 

4. Plan to give birth at home! A study of half a million births, published last year, showed that by just planning to give birth at home you are more than 40% less likely to suffer a 3rd or 4th degree tear and 70% less likely to have an episiotomy (cut). 

5. Breathe your baby out! All that "chin to chest, hold your breath, and puuuusssh!" that we see on telly is a sure way to increase your risk of tearing! Simply follow your body's lead and breathe....and your body will do the work. 

But - its also important to know that...

a) If you do tear, you are unlikely to know about it until after you've had your baby! This is because the sensations that you feel during birth are to powerful and intense that you will rarely notice. 

b) The body is built incredibly well to recover from birth! Rest, oxytocin (that all important love-hormone) and regular pelvic-floor exercises will all help your body to recover quickly. 

We talk about all the ways in which you can lower your chances of tearing on my hypnobirthing & antenatal course. Get in touch to find out more or have a look at my upcoming group courses here

Rachel xxx

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