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  1. #1
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    Default Terrified of 3rd or 4th Degree Tear - How to avoid & anyone else used an Epi No ???

    Hello,

    My chance of attempting a VBAC is fast approaching with only 3.5 weeks left til my due date, and so is my absolute and complete fear of suffering a 3rd or 4th degree tear. Especially after being on Google too much!

    I had to have a CS with DS as he was breech, and it was a calming, relaxed, positive birth and I had an amazing recovery. Within 10 days I was feeling back to my old self and although it hurt, after a few days was surprised how good I felt after hearing awful CS stories also.

    I am so petrified of a 3rd or 4th degree tear that I'm considering should I just book in for another planned CS. I realise only I can make this decision but was wondering if anyone had any stories re 3rd or 4th degree tears and recovery times. I have friends who have attempted a VBAC or just from their 1st birth who have suffered 3rd or 4th degree and tore completely through, and took them months and months to recover. Compared to an elective CS that took me maybe 7 days to feel really good.

    Due to the chance of uterine rupture I am allowed to opt for a CS if I want to, but then read about the "Epi No' with mixed reviews, but all in all seems to do what it is supposed to and prevent tears?

    Would appreciate any info

  2. #2
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    Best advice to prevent tearing is to listen to the midwives/ob when they tell you to stop pushing and to pant. You need to slow down your pushing at the crowning stage to allow everything to stretch slowly. I pretty much didnt listen properly and kept pushing and i ended up with a small tear (in between 1st and 2nd degree they said) so you just dont know what will happen. Id say stop googling about it so you don't work yourself up too much

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    M'LadyEm  (09-07-2014),Rozzie1976  (09-07-2014),ScubaGal  (11-07-2014)

  4. #3
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    I am a huge believer in perineal massage. I use almond oil. I do it every night for a few weeks than in every time I go to the loo in the last 2 few weeks.

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    Rozzie1976  (09-07-2014)

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    Quote Originally Posted by WhitePeach View Post
    Best advice to prevent tearing is to listen to the midwives/ob when they tell you to stop pushing and to pant. You need to slow down your pushing at the crowning stage to allow everything to stretch slowly. I pretty much didnt listen properly and kept pushing and i ended up with a small tear (in between 1st and 2nd degree they said) so you just dont know what will happen. Id say stop googling about it so you don't work yourself up too much

    Sent from my GT-N7000 using The Bub Hub mobile app
    Yep this exactly!

    I never listened to the midwives when pushing and just went for it so I could get rid of the pain and I ended up with a graze for DD1 and then 1st degree tears with my next three babies (all 9 pounds).

    With my last baby I listened to the midwives, was very controlled with my pushing, panted and breathed when they told me to let everything stretch - I had an 11lb 3oz bub with no tearing/grazing/bruising! It was amazing.

    Good luck

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    @Rozzie1976 the incidence of 3rd deg tears is small even smaller for 4th degree. We only had 1x 4th deg tear last year at our hospital and we have lots of babies each year. As PP have mentioned, listen to your midwife during the crowning stage. This is almost a guarantee of as little tearing as possible. They will guide you with what to do (push, pant, breathe) to allow bubs head to stretch up the perineum as it comes through. Sometimes it can't be helped say if bub comes out with his/her hand up near their face but control will still help minimise tearing as much as possible.

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    Rozzie1976  (09-07-2014)

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    Listen to your midwives when you are at the pushing stage! I had no tearing at all (I had a tiny labial graze with my first) with either of my kids.
    Tearing sounds scary, but I don't think that major tears are really that common.

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    Rozzie1976  (09-07-2014)

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    I have birthed two bubs and never had any worse than a one degree tear (didn't even need a stitch) and one bub was born without midwife instruction just me pushing when I felt I needed too. I have had many friends that have had babies and only one needed stitches (she had an episiotomy) and she didn't find the recovery difficult. I understand why you are concerned, but I think the chance of it happening is probably quite slim.

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    Rozzie1976  (09-07-2014)

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    The only reason I tore with my VBAC is because I needed forceps. Not because she got stuck but because her heart rate suddenly dropped and she needed to be born immediately. If it wasn't for that I know I'd have been fine as apparently my perineum stretched very well until a certain point.....I'd used Epi No for weeks beforehand so definitely think it helped. Would use it again.

    The recovery for me was better than my c section. I definitely don't regret my VBAC and think even if things don't go according to plan it's not always as terrible as you imagine! The chances of these things happening are relatively low. A c section is major surgery as you know so I am definitely having another VBAC next time.

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    Rozzie1976  (09-07-2014)

  16. #9
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    Thanks Bond Girl - that is clearly another huge fear, forceps!! As I know if used chances of a 3rd or 4th degree tear is pretty guaranteed. For some reason I have also associated lots of VBAC attempts with forceps or vacuum assistance, unsure why this is but have seen so many VBAC stories end this way? Or in an emergency CS...again which is why I am considering a repeat CS despite wanting to try for a VBAC. So unsure...maybe if I do start with the Epi No at 37 weeks it will if nothing else maybe give me confidence my body can do it?

    Jade - that is so amazing you had no tears, grazes etc with an 11 pound baby!!!! Omg that is amazing. Was it your 1st baby??

    theoneand onlyem - thank you for your input that is so reassuring. Even my midwife says that in her whole career she has only seen a few 3rd or 4th degree tears...it is reassuring but think I have just read too many bad stories and not enough good!

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    I had a 3rd degree and thought recovery was going to be awful. To be honest the next day I was only a little sore and a few days later I was almost back to feeling normal. I had to be a little careful siting down about how I was sitting and not putting too much pressure on it but otherwise it didn't hurt. It was almost completely healed within the first week.

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    Bond Girl  (09-07-2014),Kazza78  (10-07-2014),Rozzie1976  (09-07-2014)


 

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