DIFFERENT TYPES OF TEARING IN CHILDBIRTH

The Different Types of Tearing During Childbirth

I know as an expectant mommy you are told a whole load of things about childbirth. Some you want to know and others, well, you just would rather cover your ears sing La-la-la.

Tearing down below may be one of them. So, if you’re unsure of the kind of tearing that occurs during childbirth, stick around as this post is for you.

Warning, this post is not intended for those with a weak stomach – if that’s you, feel free to read another post on here

This post is meant to educate aspiring mommies and mommies to be.

So, if you can stomach a lot of things, then go ahead and read through.

When I fell pregnant with my daughter, I didn’t know what to expect in terms of ANYTHING.

I was scared and excited all at the same time. Each day was like an amazing experience – until I started getting closer to my due date!

THEN I REALLY started freaking out.

Thankfully, or not so thankfully, my family arranged a baby shower for me. And in true Africa style, I had different types of ‘pole speakers’. From Mothers to Midwives, young mommies and Pastors.

All was well and I took on board all the advice, recommendation, hints and tips! (No, I did not use all of them)

That was until they started talking about labour, childbirth and TEARING!

Then I really freaked out.

I couldn’t get the image of you know being torn down there out of my head.

I tried to research all I could about this tears during childbirth to try comfort myself in some way. But all I found was just MATTER OF FACTLY kind of information.

So, I’ll try to give you a personal account of what tearing is.

Hopefully, that way you can get a better understanding and hopefully try to prevent it.

All the different types of tears discussed here are ones that occur during a vaginal birth. Not Caesarian Section.

OK, let’s get the matter of factly out of the way.

WHAT IS TEARING DURING CHILDBIRTH?

Tearing or Perineal tearing during childbirth is quite common in women who give birth vaginally.

These lacerations occur either inside your vagina or just on the outside/opening on the perineum or on the urethra (where your wee comes out)- this doesn’t mean that you are not able to pass urine. It just means that you will have some sort of discomfort down below.

The level of discomfort depends on the degree level or how deep the tear is or the level of laceration. These are;

FIRST DEGREE TEARING DURING CHILDBIRTH:

This type of tear is only when the skin tears, leaving everything else underneath still intact. Your midwife might have to use stitches to repair or stop any bleeding areas. These stitches usually heal and dissolve on their own and there is no need for removal.

This type of tear is only when the skin tears, leaving everything else underneath still intact. Your midwife might have to use stitches to repair or stop any bleeding areas. These stitches usually heal and dissolve on their own and there is no need for removal.

:

This is a little deeper than the first-degree tear. Where both skin muscle below tear. A few stitches should resolve this kind of tearing. The first and second-degree lacerations are the most common types in childbirth.

This is a little deeper than the first-degree tear. Where both skin muscle below tear. Again, like in the first -degree tear, this can be easily resolved with some stitches. The first and second-degree lacerations are the most common types in childbirth.

THIRD DEGREE TEAR IN CHILDBIRTH:

This kind of tear is deeper and usually consists of the tear to the skin, the muscle around your vagina as well as part of the external part of your anal sphincter.

The sphincter is a ring of muscle surrounding your anal area and basically holds the stool in and prevents you from, well, pooping everywhere! In this case, additional stitches will be put in place to bring the sphincter back together. Your midwife may also administer stool softener to help you with your bowel movement to avoid constipation.

As this may be very painful and can cause a disruption to the stitches. You may also be given strong painkillers to help you relieve and cope with the pain.

 

FOURTH DEGREE TEAR DURING CHILDBIRTH

This is the deepest of the tears. the tear starts from the vagina and extends all the way to the rectum, making it one passage. A woman who experiences a fourth-degree will usually require specialised surgery to repair the tear.

Additional use of may be used to close things up and help separate the vagina from the rectum.

Bear in mind that recovery for this kind of tear usually takes longer than the first three and will require a regular checkup from your Obstetrician or GP to ensure that you are healing properly.

Your OBGYN will prescribe painkillers to help with the pain and a stool softener to help with your bowel movement.

These are tears that occur naturally. Unfortunately, these can be unpredictable of obviously unplanned.

There are also some vaginal tears that can occur as a result of Midwifery intervention during childbirth. These are:

WHAT IS AN EPISIOTOMY

This is a surgical cut of the perineum – the muscle area between your vagina and your rectum. Your Midwife will usually perform an Episiotomy to widen the passageway and make room for your baby. Again, the Episiotomy goes in degree levels just like natural tears.

With the aftercare being pretty much the same or pretty much similar to natural perineal tears.

Your Midwife will inform you if they need to carry out an Episiotomy. And this is only done when it is absolutely necessary!

Because an Episiotomy is a surgical procedure, the degree of the tear will obviously depend on how ‘far’ the midwife cuts. It can range from first to fourth degree, just like the natural tears. And care for them will depend on the degree of the tear.

Other forms of intervened tearing occur from the use of  Ventouse and Forceps

Ventouse

This is a vacuum extractor type instrument, resembling a sink plunger in appearance.

The Midwife places the round suction part the on baby’s head and the tube that attached to the suction and during a contraction, this will assist your midwife to guide the baby out. Because the baby is being assisted, there are chances that tear may occur.

Forceps

These are a smooth metal instrument resembling BBQ Scissor Tongs (I know I’m not the best at describing things)  But you know the ones I’m talking about?

The design of the Forceps is to mould around your baby’s head. So no, they will not hurt your baby’s head.

The Midwife places the Forceps carefully either side of baby’s head (think of how you would pick up a tomato using spoon tongs).

With a contraction, Your midwife gently assists the baby out. Again, this may result in some tearing, and like all other tears, it may be from 1st to 4th-degree tears.

I’m not going to sit here and lie to you and say the thought of tearing down there is not scary, it is, especially when you’re a first-time mum.

Although you may be able to prevent tearing during childbirth, It’s not an absolute guarantee that it will not happen. Unfortunately, tearing does not just happen to people with ‘big babies’ or just first-time moms.

Medical intervention during a complicated labour may result in tearing.

It’s not the end of the world if you experience tearing during childbirth. Trust me!

The stitches you receive to repair the tear are pretty good.

You will not be ‘deformed’ down there, no will you forever have one passageway. I’m so sorry to go into so much detail, but I did warn you!

You will have to make sure you care for your stitches and promote a healthy quick recovery. Now you know a little about tearing in childbirth, check this post out to learn about How to care for your Postpartum Stitches.

With that said, I know I’ve freaked you out completely, but do not worry.

Childbirth is a very personal unique experience. No two labours and childbirth stories are the same! And it is true what you’ve heard, You will forget all the pain all so soon.

Promise!

Well, there you go.

Found this post helpful? Please share it with other women!

Found this post really scary? comment in the section below about your worries during labor and delivery, I would love to hear about them!

 

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Know the types of tearing during childbirth

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