Unfortunately for some women, these tears are inevitable but there are certain things you can follow to at least try and minimise the chances of any damage. I have listed three suggestions which could help you keep these issues to a minimum.
1. Pelvic Floor Exercise
Exercising your pelvic floor muscles before childbirth is very important because this strengthens the muscles and reduces the chances of vaginal tearing. If the pelvic floor muscles are strong this helps avoid incontinence problems, which most women face after childbirth as well as reducing the healing time of vaginal tears.
2. Perineal Massage
Most first time mothers’ vaginal tissue can be quite tight and inflexible, so during childbirth instead of stretching, the tissue ends up tearing. One way of increasing the elasticity of the vaginal tissue is by massaging the perineum regularly during the last two months of the pregnancy. Natural oils like olive oil or coconut oil are very good for massages; just gently massage the area between the vagina and the anus to increase elasticity and blood flow in that area. During labour, holding a warm wet towel to that area is also very beneficial as that helps in regulating the blood flow, reduces pain and makes the area more flexible.
3. Maintain a healthy, balanced diet
Constipation can also put unnecessary strain on vaginal tearing and your pelvic floor area. If you have had stitches after pregnancy, constipation could increase the risk of opening the stitches and prolong healing time. Aim to drink at least 2–3 litres of water every day and eat plenty of fruit, vegetables, cereals, wholemeal bread and pasta. This will help keep your bowels moving easily and prevent constipation.
These are simple things which you can follow before and during childbirth to make the whole process a bit easier. Unfortunately childbirth is a painful experience but it’s one of the most beautiful experiences any woman can have.
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