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  5. Vaginal Birth after a previous 3rd degree tear

Vaginal Birth after a previous 3rd degree tear Lock Rss

Hi, Just wondering if anyone else was able to have a vaginal birth following a previous 3rd degree tear from first child.

My EDD is 24.11.15 with bubs #2 & my Obgyn has advised that I should look at a c-section to avoid possible bowel incontinence but I have my heart set on a natural birth again.

Have any other mums been able to have a second natural birth without complications!
Hi there, I don't know if this helps but I had 2 first degree tears with both my children. The midwives or doctor can perform an Episiotomie ( where they cut you to avoid a worse tearing ) it might sound like it would hurt but it's nothing compared to pushing out a baby! Maybe you could ask your midwives or doctor about having one of these. It guarantees you won't tear as you've already been surgically cut. It will heal much better and faster if you get one of these. Chances are if you've had a third degree tear once, it will happen again. I tear every baby I have. Only small ones though so it's not that bad. I would be looking into that. Of course they give you a small needle down there and numb it so u don't even feel a thing either. It really won't hurt. I've not had one myself but many friends have n told me about it.

I unfortunately had an episiotomy also and tore....not 100% sure of which order this all happened as was too focused on the job ahead lol
I didn't even know that they had given me an episiotomy until after when the Obgyn was stitching me up.

Hmmmm decisions
Hi, I also had a 3rd degree tear with bub1. I had an episiotomy & tore (the tear continued on from the cut). I was given the same options as you, so I waited until closer to my due date to make up my mind. Bub2 was measuring bigger than bub1 so I chose to have the C-section & I'm glad I did because the surgeon came to me after & said due to bub's size & my scar tissue I definitely would have had a serious tear. I also found that I recovered from the C-section better than the tear because it was easier to care the wound, I could sit comfortably & wasn't depleted from 24hrs of labour.
That's what I have told my Obgyn if we can wait till I'm 36 weeks and make a call then!

Thanks pink and shiny
Hi Breana (note... you may not want to read if you don't want to read about bad birthing experiences while pregnant),

I'd be interested for anyone's input as well as also had a 3rd degree tear and currently TTC.

To the ladies who've had episiotomies (that went well) or 1st/2nd degree tears just thought I'd point out a 3rd/4th degree tear is something a lot more serious as it means you've torn so far it's past the vagina/perineal muscles and torn all the way through to your anal canal. I don't mean to downplay anyone's experiences as any tear can be traumatic but a 3rd/4th degree tear has implications for future continence and birth choices.

I've done a lot of research into what to do re next time and here's some of the things that may influence your choice are:
- what type of 3rd degree tear was it? A 3a is less serious than 3b or 3c and therefore less likely to have ongoing complications
- did you have complications from the tear? If not you probably healed well.
- have you had an ultrasound done to see if your anal canal muscles recovered?

I've been told that the chance of having another 3rd degree tear is low (~3-5%) however if you are unlucky enough to have a second third degree tear they usually can't repair it as well as the first time leaving people likely to have complications.

I had a 3c tear with one section bordering on a 4th degree tear. I actually don't remember much of my sons birth as i passed out from blood loss and was rushed into the operating theatre to repair the damage. I was incontinent to stool for about a week after DS birth and couldn't be more than a few minutes from a bathroom for about 2 months or i wouldn't make it. I now am thankfully fully continent (although when I got gastro recently I wasn't sure I'd make it every time) although still have very little control over passing wind. It took me months before my pelvic floor was strong enough for me to stand for prolonged periods without pain and I didn't start having sex until about 12 months postpartum. I consider the birth of my son the worst experience of my life and feel robbed of the memories of his birth.

So in my case although I'd love a vaginal birth for #2 if I could guarantee it went well as I feel it would be emotionally very healing after #1, I don't feel I could risk a second 3rd degree tear that could further damage the area. I know what it feels like to be jncontinent and the thought of it happening again terrifies me. I only started TTC once I'd confirmed I could have a c-section next time.

If I'd not had problems after my son was born and healed well I suspect I'd probably give a vaginal birth a second go with a strict birth plan of no forceps (which raises the risk of 3rd degree tear dramatically).

I hope that helps.

Hi Makalu,

I'm not sure what level of 3rd degree it was, they just have me a pamphlet and said this is what happened. They did give me an episiotomy and also had to have vacuum assisted birth, hence the tear.

I healed well, with no incontinence. Didn't start having sex until about 4mths after.

I went to a women's health Physio a few weeks ago to see how pelvic floors are and if any prolapses. I was lucky enough that everything was good and of a high level considering.

#1 is now 3.5yrs old, so I have had time to recover and heal.

Sad to hear you had a rough experience after your birth.

Best of luck with #2
I also had a vacuum assisted delivery, I only tore very slightly, but as you would know, the vacuum extraction is awful! They ripped all the skin off my boys head and he was bleeding too as the suction thing came off 3 times before they got him out! Did you have any dramas with the vacuum extraction? Did bub have any marks/bruising or bleeding like mine?

Oh no......the poor little man.

No I didn't have any dramas like that, no bruising or bleeding from the suction on my son.

Hi Breanna, not sure if my experience helps. I had episiotomy first time (vacuum traumatic delivery and recovery) and was determined not to have same things second time round. Did hypno birthing. Was amazing, 2 hour labour, start to finish. Couldn't have been more perfectly BUT he had his hands by his face with cord wrapped around so I ended up with a third degree anyway. I felt ripped off! BUT repair was soooo much better than the episiotomy despite them telling me it would be the other way around. Just something to think about. Educate yourself as much as you can and ask as many people as you can for their experience. Good luck
I had a very similar experience and outcomes to makalu, but a 3a tear, with my first. Second bub was bigger, but was able to birth him naturally with only a slight graze. For me the difference was an ob/gyn and midwife that guided me on a slow controlled pushing stage. I was given the option for a c section, but my ob gyn recommended trying a vaginal birth, but having an epidural to help control the pushing stage and not letting my body taking over and pushing bub out too quickly. Best of luck, I hope all goes well.
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