As a Mama of two, I always laugh when watching a birthing scene in a movie. According to Hollywood, child birth lasts a few minutes and new moms look like the cover of Parenting magazine in the next shot. But childbirth can be a pretty messy business. And one reality no one likes to talk about is -- brace yourself -- perineal tearing. Those six syllables are enough to send shivers down anyone's spine! Perineal tears can occur during vaginal birth when you are huffing and puffing, puffing and pushing, and your babe creates a tear between your vagina and anus on her way out. The tear can be superficial and heal without any stitches; however, four-percent of women can end up with serious tears through the rectum that will require stitches and take months to heal. Yowch! The good news is you can help prevent tearing with perineal massages. Starting around 34 weeks, perineal massages can help stretch your skin in that delicate area and reduce the chances of tearing or needing an episiotomy.
Use a lubricant, like Bump Gloss with vitamin E, to perform perineal massages.
Choose a pregnancy safe massage oil that contains Vitamin E, like The Spoiled Mama's Bump Gloss. If you or your partner are interested in doing the massage at home, here's a great guide with instructions and tips. OK, I've given birth, but my perineal area is still sore! What can I do? One way to help heal your perineum after birth is with a healing organic herbal sitz bath teas. Our Sitzing Pretty Postpartum Sitz Bath is specialized to help heal perineal tears and episiotomies, as well as Mamas suffering from hemorrhoids. This bath tea features a blend of healing and restorative organic herbs such as shepherd's purse, yarrow, rosemary and golden seal. We've also added styptic and antibacterial calendula, chickweed, marshmallow root, plantain, and chamomile.
Organic calendula, featured in our postpartum sitz tea, has anti-inflammatory properties that make it great in ointments and bath teas.
To use, simply fill the reusable muslin bag (included) with one cup of the tea and let it steep in six quarts of boiling water. Then add the steeped water into a shallow bath. Finally, "Sitz Pretty" and try to relax as the herbs help stimulate blood flow and heal your sore areas.
For Mamas who have experience with perineal massages, tearing and healing: do you have any additional tips or advice? What worked for you?