I love this article on Intact Perineums by Gloria Lemay… it is fabulous!
I don’t usually just post a blog article by linking another- but oh my – just such wonderful information!
My observations over 594 births is just this- and you will find I agree so totally with Lemay.
Perineal massage during pushing usually causes the tissue to abrade and swell. I usually have to turn away as the doctor says he is helping her to not tear. I have thought, “crap!, I don’t see it!”
I have been teaching for years that if you keep your hand on your own perineum you will not only protect that space, but you will feel immediately reaffirmed when you feel the bulge of the baby’s head. Why is it that women are afraid to put their own hand on the perineum? I think it goes back to the MontyPython Meaning of Life- they have come to believe that they do not know how to birth a baby without someone helping her!
I beg women to get to know their vaginas and how they stretch long before the labor begins. The exercises of allowing your breath to stretch a bit further helps a woman have confidence in her body’s ability to stretch without tearing.
I love in Gloria’s article when she talks about how quiet it needs to be when a mom is pushing. There should not be any yelling or counting to ten- that is one of the most ridiculous actions I have witnessed in labor and births. I think women need to resist the urge to blast her baby out- but instead eases the baby out gently. It makes all the difference in the birth experience and the healing afterwards.
So, read this article- shoot- print it out and make your partner read it- share it with your midwife… read it over and over. Thanks Gloria for the work you do!