Tearing During Labor Can Be Reduced By 'Not Pushing'

There are many fears women have as they prepare for childbirth. One of those fears is tearing during labor, but there is a way it can be reduced, namely, "not pushing".

The concept sounds crazy since the whole point of natural childbirth is to push the baby out, but there is a way to reduce the risk of severe tearing by not pushing. Child educator Maria Pyanov spoke with Belly Belly to share this interesting news. No, she is not suggesting all women get a C-section to avoid tearing during labor. Seriously, anyone who has had a C-section knows the recovery can be a lot more painful than natural childbirth recovery.

However, Pyanov did refer to a recent study conducted by The Royal College of Midwives & Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. They implemented a trial program at Medway Maritime Hospital in Kent, United Kingdom. Pynanov explained that the women in the program were told to stop lying on their backs to push during labor. Oh yes, as opposed to having women deliver the "normal" way, they encouraged them to push in different positions such as on their hands and knees, standing up and even squatting.

The women were also encouraged to breathe naturally during childbirth instead of being yelled at to push harder. It was a more soothing and calming way to deliver, but also it reduced the tearing. During the trial, third and fourth-degree tearing went from 7% to 1%, by simply changing positions.

If you are a little skeptical about this news, that is entirely natural. After all, for years women have been told that the only way to deliver a baby naturally is lying on your back and pushing as hard as you can. However, the study was so successful it was published in the European Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and that is pretty incredible.

Childbirth and labor are scary any way you look at it. But if there is a chance you could reduce tearing, don't you want to try it? Just because it is a different way of giving birth does not mean it is by any means wrong or bad. If you are pregnant and interested in attempting one of Pynanov's ways of labor, please first consult with your doctor to find a plan that will work best for you and your baby.

Would you try standing up, squatting or on your hands and knees during labor to reduce tearing? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!


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