Complications and injuries due to childbirth are sometimes inevitable. One of these complications is when your perineal tear. A perineal tear or laceration also known as a vaginal tear, is an injury to the tissue around your vagina and rectum that can happen during childbirth. It is quite normal for the perineum to tear to some extent during childbirth. Tears or lacerations can also occur inside the vagina or other parts of the vulva, including the labia. Source: https:\/\/www.rcog.org.uk\/en\/patients\/tears\/tears-childbirth\/ Up to 9 in every 10 first time mothers who have a vaginal birth will experience some sort of tear, graze or episiotomy. It is slightly less frequent for mothers who have had a vaginal birth before. For most women, these tears are minor and heal quickly. 4 Grades of Perineal Tear There are four grades of tear that can happen, with a fourth-degree tear being the most severe. These grades are determined by the severity of the tear. Source: rcog.org.uk First-degree tear: The least severe of tears, this small injury involves the first layer of tissue around the vagina and perineal area. Second-degree tear: This second level of this injury is actually the most commonly seen tear during childbirth. The tear is slightly bigger here, extending deeper through the skin into the muscular tissue of the vagina and perineum. Third-degree tear: A third-degree tear extends from your vagina to your anus. This type of tear involves injury to the skin and muscular tissue of the perineal area, as well as damage to the anal sphincter muscles. These muscles control your bowel movements. Fourth-degree tear: This is the least common type of tear during childbirth. Extending from the vagina, through the perineal area and anal sphincter muscles and into the rectum, this injury is the most severe type of tear. This is why mothers-to-be need to go for check-ups so as to allow doctors to identify any sorts of complication prior to labour. Source: Adobe Stock Why some women experienced Vaginal Tear during Childbirth? There\u2019s a variety of reasons why this could happen. Some factors that could cause a tear include: \tA large baby \tA very quick delivery (the skin hasn\u2019t had time to stretch and thin) \tFirst time delivery \tThe position of the baby (face-up deliveries) \tUse of forceps or a vacuum during delivery \tIf you\u2019ve had an episiotomy \tIf you are of Asian ethnicity These tears are then stitched to help the repairing process. Moreover, stitches are commonly required in tears or lacerations that are longer than 2 centimetres. All freshly repaired wound like the site of a laceration will take time to heal. It might take 7 to 10 days and the wound will still likely hurt for weeks. So, take time to rest and heal. Aftercare Tips for Perineal\/Vaginal Tears The stitches themselves will be absorbed into the skin over time. But it is still imperative that you follow your doctor's or nurse\u2019s instructions for aftercare perineal hygiene. Here are some tips that will help to prevent infection and promote healing. \tClean the area by squirting warm water over it during and after going to the bathroom. \tPat dry (don\u2019t rub) with clean gauze pads or paper wipes \tUse a fresh maxi pad at least every four to six hours. \tBe patient. Try and not touch your wound more than you need to. \tRegulate your toilet time. Get your bowels moving as soon as you can (do not worry about your stitches, they'll hold). Eat more grains, fresh fruits, veggies, and drink plenty of liquids. Source: Adobe Stock Reducing perineal tear pain 1. Ice it Try a surgical glove filled with crushed ice or a maxi-pad with a cold pack to ease the swelling. You can also use chilled saline or other cleaning liquids to help with the pain. 2. Heat it To soothe the discomfort try taking a warm sitz bath for 20 minutes, three times a day. You can also use warm compresses. Heat lamp exposure is another one to try, but do this only after getting a physician's advice. 3. Numb it Doctors will usually give medicine for the pain. They might recommend different types of anaesthetics to numb the area if you can not handle the pain well. Anaesthetics come in all forms, from sprays to ointments to pads. Choose the ones you feel most comfortable with. 4. Avoid straining it Procrastinate any plans or activities that could cause strain on your healing body. Sleep on your side to avoid any weight on your perineal. Try not to stand or sit for long periods of time as it can increase perineal pain. Light movements, on the other hand, can help your blood flow better. 5. Cushion it Doughnut-shaped pillows that are marketed for haemorrhoid patients could give you some comfort while you sit. If you had haemorrhoids during pregnancy and are still recovering, you can kill two pains with one pillow. Even without all the complications, childbirth is still an erroneous work and all mother need time to heal and their body to adjust itself. Mothers-to-be have 101 questions and worries that weight them down in this trying time of their lives. The responsibility of welcoming a child into the world is a colossal effort for one person so remember to seek help and support as you are not alone. Stay tuned with Motherhood Story for more info on pregnancy, child birth, parenting, and many more.