My client's story:
4 years ago I had a 4th degree tear. Labor was not productive, no coaching or support from staff, I didn’t have doula, got an epidural, labored/pushed on my back, pushed for 2+ hours, received an episiotomy, and baby was 9 pounds, 13 ounces which all led to the 4th degree tear.
After all that I decided that I’d do a vaginal delivery which the midwives weren’t very supportive of. So at 36 weeks I switched to a different midwife practice at a different hospital. The 4 that I met were amazing and supportive of me. I went into labor at 40+2 and it started with my water breaking at 7:45 pm. I went to the hospital at 1 am and had a terrible experience/exchange with a midwife I hadn’t met before which ended up stalling my labor. But as soon as the new midwife came on shift at 8 am I was able to give birth to my 9 pound, 1 ounce baby at 9:30 am. I birthed on my side, did not get the epidural and tore, as the midwife said, “to 1.5 degrees.” The tear also did not take the same path as the previous 4th degree which is a big deal!
So here is what I did to prepare my body over the months leading up to birth:
-I took very high doses of vitamin C for skin elasticity (do your own research in particular orthomolecular medicine)
-I took extra zinc (ok’d by midwife) and collagen for skin elasticity as well.
-Consumed extra good fats and decreased sugar and carb intake
-Drank red raspberry leaf tea religiously
-Ate dates daily throughout 3rd trimester
-I bought the Epi-No device and did that twice a day after 37 weeks (www.epi-no.co.uk) This made a huge difference for me!
-Started the One Strong Mama program at around 26 weeks and did it 1-3 times/week.
-Hired a doula 🙌🏼
-Did the Hypnobabies home study to prepare for unmedicated birth. So key to do some sort of relaxation program!
-Labored in water as much as I could to soften tissues
-Spoke to midwives about how they would help in preventing tears. It was in my chart that warm compresses would be very necessary during pushing. Also for midwife to apply reinforcement pressure on the area of previous tear as I’m pushing.
-Push on all 4’s or side lying. No squatting or on my back.
I truly hope this helps someone out there! And this is our sweet Charlie born 11/24/18 weighing 9 pounds, 1 ounce and stretching 20 inches long.