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The thought of vaginal tearing can make any woman cringe. And let’s not even think about episiotomies. Are there ways to avoid tearing? What’s the evidence behind perineal massage? Will being told how to push make things worse? Rachel Reed tells us more about protecting your perineum during birth.
To listen here, click the play button on the player above, or click the button below to listen in iTunes.
What we talked about:
Perineal massage: might help, might hurt, may increase your confidence.
Episiotomies: a thing of the past (hopefully!
During pregnancy, what may increase your risk of tearing in the pushing stage of labor? What may reduce it?
During birth, what may increase your risk of tearing? What may reduce it?
What really happens down there when you push in a hospital: the (useless?) management of second stage of labor.
Things to include in your birth plan that can lessen your chances of tearing
Perineal stretching instructions: leaflet, and video (which, as it turns out, is not with Penny Simkin 🙂 ).
About Rachel Reed
Dr Rachel Reed is a Lecturer at the University of the Sunshine Coast and a homebirth midwife. She has practiced midwifery in a range of models and settings in the United Kingdom and Australia. Rachel is committed to the promotion of physiological birth, and of women’s innate ability to birth and mother. Rachel has written articles for journals, magazines and websites, and presented at many conferences and study days. She is also the author of the MidwifeThinking blog site.
Find out more on her blog, follow her tweets at @MidwifeThinking, or join the conversation on her Facebook page.