Tearing/stitches inevitable with first?

(45 Posts)
Jsa1980 Sun 20-Jan-13 21:45:35

I'm 29 weeks and currently measuring two weeks over. I'm guessing this baby might be a big one.

I just wondered if tearing was inevitable as it's my first. I'm absolutely bricking it about forceps and stitches. Do I need to get over it and accept that it's going to happen?

Good or bad stories welcome.

llightfoot Sun 27-Jan-13 17:54:42

my first child was 8 12 and a half i only got grazes wich hurt a bit when i went the toilet but that was it gd luck x

debbie1412 Thu 24-Jan-13 21:26:27

I tore with my 1st sore for 12 days after ( baby shot out as they were Preparing to cut me ) 2nd child I was cut they numbed me before didn't feel a thing they numbed me after to stitch me. I can honestly say I had no discomfort after the birth at all. Its really not that bad either way! Also you can buy empty travel toilet tree containers from boots abit of olive oil sprayed down there before and during crowning is amazing x

GingerDoodle Thu 24-Jan-13 20:33:58

A week early, 7lb 1 DD. Had 3 small grazes which they stitched - they healed fine and were really not that painful at all!

rach6122 Thu 24-Jan-13 11:56:37

had my first 3 weeks ago, no tear or stitches required, easier said than done but really try to listen to the midwife on when to push/pant etc, i put in my birth notes to specifically be told exactly how, when and for how long to push and pant to decrease risk!

mayhew Tue 22-Jan-13 21:05:54

Well. After I'd been qualified 5 years, I decided to audit my records to look at perineal injury.I looked at my first 100 normal births and my most recent 100. My belief was that i had become more skilled at preventing injury (I certainly tried hard) and that the figures would reflect this. I was trained in a unit that did few episiotomies in normal births.

The outcome: exactly the same! First time mums usually had a tear (around 65%), second (or more) time mums usually did not have any significant injury.

The change that has occurred in my practice is, now I do not routinely stitch small tears. They heal just as well with less discomfort left alone. I am also more hands off at deliveries. Though I do coach and guide as much as I can. Its psychological support for the mother but I don't know if it actually makes any difference.

Evidence shows that in spite of strongly held beliefs of HCPs, episiotomy does not prevent 3rd degree tears.

The only things that seem to prevent severe tears
:avoiding forceps (not always possible)
: antenatal perineal massage.

Cakethrow Tue 22-Jan-13 20:34:28

Definitely not inevitable!

3DC here DD:6 lb 7.5 - nothing, not even a graze; no intervention
DS1: 6 lb 13.5 - just one small graze which did sting a little when I went for a wee; no intervention
DS2: 7 lb 13 (with a massive head!) nothing, not even a graze and no intervention even though he was a total bugger to push out!

I was really scared of tearing/episiotomy and had got myself quite worked up about it so I can completely relate to you posting this.

Good luck!

rachyconks Tue 22-Jan-13 20:21:50

I had DD1 in November. She was 8lb 7oz and I had a 29hr labour start to finish. I had a small graze, which needed a stitch, just to stop it bleeding. I was so worried about the birth and tearing etc before hand, but as other posters say, listen to the midwives and you'll be fine. The stitches were worse than the birth, but I had a brand new beautiful daughter to cuddle and wasn't overly bothered. Healing was fine, but WHY does no one tell you that stitches are itchy when they are healing!!! That was horrible!!

good luck!

ISpyPlumPie Tue 22-Jan-13 20:13:48

DS1 - 9lb 2oz, no stitches. Poss due to quite a long second stage - mw said in the end I 'breathed' him out. Not a concious decision, just think I was a bit rubbish at pushing!

DS2 - much quicker second stage (born in 3 pushes) but no stitches. He was smaller (7lb 10 oz) and it was a water birth, both of which helped I think.

I might just be incredibly lucky but based on my experiences stitches are not inevitable. Hope everything goes well for you too smile.

orangeshortbread Tue 22-Jan-13 20:04:02

I was really scared of tearing. I did my perineal massage from a few weeks before and and gave birth in the water. I ended up with a tiny tear but no stitches needed. It's really not as bad as I thought it would be and will heal by itself in time. I didn't feel it happening either.

elfycat Tue 22-Jan-13 17:37:22

DD1 was born without a graze! I had a similar birth to beckslovestimmy above where my body started doing the work and I just went along for the ride (I did bear down though and I had to do all the breathing!)

DD2 was another story, episiotomy to have a vontouse and then tore a bit more. I asked if I needed stitches and I got some very strange looks! that'll be yes then - go ahead Mind you after a rather uncomfortable first week it wasn't to bad and after a couple of months I'd never have known.

Isandri Tue 22-Jan-13 17:25:37

I'm petite and gave birth to a 7 pound 8 ounce baby. It was painful when the baby's head came out but was quick. I had 7 stitches but the midwives said they could have managed with 6. They put in the 7th stitch to hold the muscle in place. I took a few paracetamol for the next few days, healed really well and dtd 5 weeks later,(and then again a few days later).

Even if you need stitches it might not be as bad as you think.

beckslovestimmy Tue 22-Jan-13 16:49:59

I had a small tear to my left labia following birth of a 6lb 8oz PFB no stitches required and only really stung when I did my first wee after birth. I didn't feel the tear but then again I had a very quick pushing stage, only 4 minutes and my body did all the pushing, I had no control over the pushing I didn't have to bear down IYSWIM.

Jsa1980 Mon 21-Jan-13 18:25:31

Thank you. Feel a bit more at peace with it all now. Guess you mainly here the horror stories. I only have one friend with a child and she had a bad third degree tear. My OH does have a massive head though!

Susan2kids Mon 21-Jan-13 15:42:24

No its not inevitable at all.

DeTamble Mon 21-Jan-13 15:23:17

Mind you, I should probably also add that mine was not engaged during the entire labour, and at the very end my waters broke and the baby shot down like a canon, which is probably why I tore in the way mentioned above.

DeTamble Mon 21-Jan-13 15:19:39

I had a very strange tear with my first and it went un-noticed until the scar tissue started to form. The muscle tore, 2nd degree, in three different places, but the skin never tore (hence why it went un-noticed). I never felt it happen either. I took four months to heal, and sex was painful in varying degrees for a year afterwards, but all was fine after that.

On the other hand, my mother did not tear or even graze when I was born, and I came out arm first so she had to squeeze out a head and shoulder together.

Really I think it's just luck of the draw, and is down to too many variables to know if you will tear or not.

FirstTimeForEverything Mon 21-Jan-13 14:12:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

elliejjtiny Mon 21-Jan-13 13:34:08

my 3 were 8lb 13oz, 8lb 10oz and 8lb 12oz. Slight graze with DS1 and that's it. I asked the midwife to tell me when to pant and when to push with DS3 as I'd heard that 3rd babies tend to shoot out. My mum was a bit shocked though. She kept saying "are you sure you didn't have any" and "but everyone has stitches". I must have a bucket fanjo grin

Bluemonkeyspots Mon 21-Jan-13 13:30:48

I had a "graze" with my first heifer that they were unsure whether i needed 1 stitch but gave me it anyway just incase.

Next two heifers I did not tear/graze so no stitches needed but there was honestly no difference in the actual delivery for me.

You are in so much pain anyway and utterly exhausted by the time you deliver that it's not something you will even really be aware of if it happens.

I'm sure it's got more to do with the position the baby is in anyway so a normal sized baby coming a awkward way is more likely to do damage than a large baby in the right position (hope that's right!)

notcitrus Mon 21-Jan-13 11:14:01

I know people who didn't, but possibly the best advise I've ever had from MN is to put on my birth plan "if I need cutting or stitches, I want them done by an expert!"

I've had two babies with epidural, ventouse and stitching, and after the first I was having midwives complement me on my vagina by day 2, and felt fine. After the second I only know I had a second degree tear from reading my notes 4 days later, though in retrospect the stitching went on for ages - couldn't feel a thing so wasn't bothered.

DangerMousey Mon 21-Jan-13 10:46:39

DS1 ws 9lb 3oz with a head circumference on the 91st centile!

I had a natural labour with gas and air, and I had a 2nd degree tear. I didnt feel it when it happened, the stitching up was fine (not the most pleasant experience of my life, but not awful...a bit like being at the dentist or something: not nice but you just have to be brave!).

Afterwards, I couldnt really feel the stitches much, had some dull pain in my fanny area, but nothing a couple of paracetamol every 4 hours couldn't handle.

Not trying to sound smug: just saying, I was really scared of tearing too, and the idea of stitches horrified me, but it really wasnt that bad and they healed fine within a couple of weeks. I just didnt look down there, tried to ignore it and took paracetamol for a few days till the swollen soreness felt better.

Six weeks down the line everything is fine.

arghhelpme Mon 21-Jan-13 08:49:53

Ds1 was 8lb 14. Easy labour, slight graze and no stitches.

Ds2 was 7lb 12. Painful labour, i tore and had stitches.

FirstTimeForEverything Mon 21-Jan-13 08:42:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsPennyapple Sun 20-Jan-13 23:07:03

I also used the oil and did a bit of perineal massage (yes, it is difficult to reach!) and only had a teeny tiny graze. DD was only 6lb 12 though, but she was born very quickly, which I've heard is more likely to lead to tearing.

My midwife was saying things like "big push" and then "little pushes" and I just did what she said.

Overberries Sun 20-Jan-13 23:06:47

Had an awful time with DC1, shoulder dystocia and 4th degree tear. Since then I've always wondered if more could be done at antenatal to prepare for the fall out (no pun intended!) of a physically traumatic birth. I guess you run the risk of freaking everyone out which is not ideal. I was completely unprepared for all this and the lengthy recovery though. But since you are worrying about it, I'll add that after all that trauma both DS and I are absolutely fine and it's all a hazy and crazy memory. Good luck, I'm sure you'll be fine x

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