What a concept. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to birth your baby without tearing your vagina open to do it? Let’s take a look on how you can possibly birth your baby without tearing.
First let’s talk about what happens during the pushing stage of labor. Ok, your 10 cm dilated, your baby is on its way down the birth canal. With every contraction your baby descends a little bit more. The urge to push begins and you and your baby work together in a kind of dance. Every contraction you push and maybe your told to push. You squish up your face and eyes, you hold your hands in a fist, and you tense up all over your body to just try and get it done so you can see your baby. And oops, you tear a bit. Maybe more than a bit. Good news is your baby is here. Bad news is you get to lay on your back with your legs spread so you can be stitched up. Yay (No).
I read a Facebook post from a mom that has a really good point about labor and pushing and I want to share it with you. If you’re like me, you will have an aha moment, like wow, why didn’t anybody tell me about this before. You don’t even learn this in childbirth classes do you? Maybe you do, but really, it’s so obvious. Maybe to obvious. Like knowing when you chew gum and take it out of your mouth its sticky and slimy. Ok enough gum talk. Here’s what the post said.
Be aware not to clench or squeeze your hands, eyes or mouth while pushing ... doing that inadvertently squeezes your bottom tight. Instead, open your mouth and hands while pushing. Try it right now ... clench your hands and eyes and mouth. You will feel your bottom clench too. Now open all that and you will feel your bottom release. It's because around your mouth and around your eyes are sphincter muscles, as is the muscle around the vaginal opening. If you close a sphincter hard, like with clenching, all your sphincters close too. It's to protect you. So, birth with people you do not need to protect yourself from and trust your instincts. Also, the cervix is a sphincter muscle too and touching it will cause it to instinctually close especially if it is being touched by someone you are not very comfortable with. Someone else touching your perineum during birth can also cause it to tighten, not relax. Instinctual pushing all the way is the best way to go.
Wow. Did you try it? You should. It definitely makes sense to me. I mean why doesn’t someone tell us about this like the Doctor or the Midwife. Even in labor when your hanging on for dear life to that blanket and squishing your eyes shut, your cervix may not be encouraged to dilate. I know it’s tough. I’ve had 3 kids, all vaginally, so I was also hanging on for dear life to the bed post or my ex-husband. Oh wait, not all the time because he wasn’t there some of the time I was in labor. But I digress. The point is when your doing your practice breathing for labor, try this and see what happens. Then when your labor starts, you’ll know exactly what to do.
A doula can help you and your partner stay relaxed and focused during labor so your eyes don’t squish up and your hands don’t turn into fists. It just may mean a shorter labor and no tearing during birth. And please try to not let anyone “coach” your pushing. I know it happens, and sometimes it really is necessary. Listen to your body and your baby. They know what to do. Don’t let those sphincter muscles get in the way. Happy “Birth” day.
If you would like to know more about this and what a doula can do to help you, contact me and I will be more than happy to talk to you about it. Just pick up the phone and text or call me.
Take care of yourself and remember - don't let those sphincter muscles get the best of you!!