If you are planning on having a natural birth, it is my personal opinion that the more knowledgeable you are about every aspect, the easier it is to make clear, confident decisions when the special time comes.
And I was terrified of an unmedicated, natural birth. I am honestly the biggest wimp when it comes to pain. My pain tolerance is at a whopping zero on a scale of one to ten.
All the same, it was on my birth plan to give birth drug free and I was full of determination right up until - hold on a minute, that first contraction! Then my birth plan was out the window and I was eager to trade my essential oils for an epidural, stat!
However, I dilated and started to push before they had even began to set up an epidural for me. My absolute biggest fear was that I was going to tear. That made my stomach turn.
Whilst attending one of my last antenatal appointments, a midwife suggested I do perineal massage. I could not even see down there nor reach comfortably to do that really by the end of my pregnancy so I just didn't worry about it and hoped for the best.
And to my great surprise, I gave birth without tearing at all and just had a few tiny grazes! I couldn't have been happier. But how did this happen you ask? Well I do remember one of the absolutely wonderful midwives who delivered my baby girl, kept pressing a wet cloth down on my perineum? At the time in my delirious state, I just thought she was wiping away blood and whatever other liquid comes out while you're giving birth.
Then many months later, I came across in my reading (I do A LOT of reading about birth and everything baby related) information about perineal support and realised that was the reason why I didn't tear. First I felt extremely silly, but then I asked other mums who had teared if they knew of perineal support and they didn't. Which made me realize I absolutely had to share this with everyone.
As a natural birth that is as undisturbed as possible is much better for mum and bubs recovery, I believe every mama should be offered this to recover as quickly as possible. Which brings me back to the start of my article where being knowledgeable about birth is fantastic and can really help. The internet is great for this. Here's some helpful links below and please share with your soon to be mama friends!