Keeping your vagina intact – tear prevention tips

No one can tell you if you will tear or not. There is no exact science to it. But approximately 40 per cent of Aussie mums will require stitches due to a tear or episiotomy.

So if you do, you’re in great company!

There are, however, a few things that have been shown to help reduce your risk of tearing.

  • Massage the perineal area during the final few weeks of pregnancy (this is known as a perineal massage).
  • Aim to give birth kneeling, on all fours or side-lying as these are the ‘less-chance-of-a-tear’ positions.
  • When you feel the urge to push, try panting instead of pushing, which can help ease the baby’s head out slowly reducing the risk of a tear.
  • And, most importantly, try not to stress. Relax, especially your pelvic floor muscles. If you tear, you tear. It’s part of the joy that is labour, along with potentially pooping, vomiting and throwing a bottle of Gatorade at your partner’s head.

Tears during labour, like stretch marks during pregnancy, are the marks of a mother. Wear them with pride. And pick up a few hot water bottles at the shops, you know, just in case.

Read more about pregnancy and birth here.