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Thread: EPI-NO instead of perineum massage?

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    Question EPI-NO instead of perineum massage?

    Hi, has anyone used an EPI-NO birth trainer instead of doing the manual perineum massage to prevent tearing?


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    Sure have!!!!! My anti-natal educator laughed at me and said it was alot of expense and you know what, it really was. I was lucky enough to sustain a 3rd degree even after using it religiously and as per directions. Although I did say it could have been worse if I didnt use it . I had a beautiful birth and birthed standing, was sure to do as instructed by the midwife in regards to push and breath now but I guess some women just tend to tear more then others. Just my opinion though and perhaps others have had better success then I did . FWIW I didnt feel the tear happen if thats a concern of yours. Wishing you a fabulous and amazing birth Cherished1, that ticker of yours is steaming ahead

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    I say don't bother with either. Tearing is related to position, genetics, and a variety of things but pre-stretching isn't known to be helpful. Your body releases hormones to stretch when the time comes so it's not something you can prepare for in that way.

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    My sister was advised not to use one by her doctor (after she had signed up for the trial) as it can cause infection - not always but made me think twice!!! I ended up with an episiotomy as they had to use the vacuum and I won't lie - it hurt like hell for a few days but at the time I didn't even realise because of the epidural!!!! I was absolutely terrified of tearing or being cut but in the end there is not much you can do!!! good luck hun xox

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    Default EPI-NO instead of perineum massage?

    Yep I used one and I did tear due to DD's arms being up near her chest and her moving them down as her shoulders came out. So can't really say if the epi-no helped or not. I used it afterwards as well to help restrengthen my pelvic floor.

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    My friend sustained a 3rd degree tear due to the Epi-No before her baby was even born. She had to have stiches, lucky it healed before the birth and she only needed a few replaced. I say steer well clear of them. Everytime you use it is equivilent to one birth and your pelvic floor muscles get stretched needlessly. I was the first intact perineum in 10 years at my local hospital that was ethier a dancer or avid horse rider. I swear an adequate amount of zinc saved me from tearing, as I have quite a tight perineum and was told to expect and episiotomy, I declined and birthed with only front labial grazes from my sons cord.

  7. #7

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    i wouldnt bother hun, if ur going to tear, ur going to tear.
    i did pelvic floor excersizes religiously with both the girls.
    DD1 i birthed flat on my back (notorious for horrible tears) followed my bodies lead as per midwifes instructions and didnt even have a paper cut!
    DD2, although she was posterior and a tear was unavoidable, i stupidly listened to the mids when they TOLD me to push instead of letting my body tell me, i was very out of sorts and incredibly scared and just wanted her out. 2nd degree tear in 3 different directions.

    in other words, listen to ur body, push when it tells u to, dont be forced into pusing when ur body doesnt want u to

    much love hun, not long now xxx

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    I asked a pelvic floor physio about EPI-NO. She said it can stretch more than the perineum and affect your pelvic floor strength, so not to use it. For perineal massage, she suggested just trying to massage the perineum from the positions of 4 o'clock to 8 o'clock (if the bottom of it is 6 o'clock) with some olive oil from 38 weeks on.

  9. #9

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    hmmmm Thanks everyone for your replies, it doesn't sound like any good reports really and dh had only just finished saying to get one because another BB member told me in a PM that they had 3 great experiences with one. Now I don't know

    Quote Originally Posted by stepmum1 View Post
    I swear an adequate amount of zinc saved me from tearing
    what do you mean? Were you taking zinc supplements or rubbing zinc cream onto the area daily or something?

  10. #10

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    A GF of mine used one as per instructions but still tore 2nd degree. I tore 2nd degree in 3 directions with my first despite only doing little pushes as per midwives instructions - but this time I DID the perineal massage from 34 weeks (well hubby did, I can't bend that way) and had in my birthplan no coached pushing and just slowly eased the head out instead of the light pushing in bursts and only sustained 1st degree grazing (which is already fine and didn't hurt to be stitched either) - so I would recommend doing that instead of the Epi-No, plus if it doesn't work, at least it didn't cost you anything KWIM.

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    I asked my Ob about the epi-no after it was recommended by a friend. The Ob said not to bother because you go through unecessary pain without the hormones to help you through it, plus they're not guaranteed to work. She said she sees the same percentage of tears from women who use it as those who don't.

    However.... my friend swears that the reason she didn't tear was because of the Epi-No.

    I'm not using one. Just doing the Pelvic floor exercises and crossing my fingers :P

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by cherished1 View Post
    what do you mean? Were you taking zinc supplements or rubbing zinc cream onto the area daily or something?
    Zinc is the mineral that assists with stretching. Nutrition for your preineum Nutritional Protection for your Perineum You could rub zinc cream into your peri if thats what you felt you needed, I am sure it wouldn't hurt.

    I love The Natural Way to a Better Pregnancy by Francesca Naish and Janette Roberts Doubleday, Sydney, Australia, April 1999. (Avil in BB store) as it details how important nutrition is in pregnancy for a better birth. I also believe that women shouldn't get hung up on peri massage. If it doesn't feel right then don't do it. Of all my friends that did peri massage religiously they all tore to some extent. Nutrition and listening to your body (not doing coached pushing) keep a peri intact.

    Here is a great article by my fave midwife: Gloria Lemay

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    stepmum thanks for those links I have plenty of those foods recommended in my diet so I think I have that covered.

    I think I'll give the EPI-NO a miss, if I'm not happy with birth experience #1 I can always look at it for #2

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    Like others have said, there are a lot of factors than can cause you to tear (or not). I had a tough labour. DD was posterior which made for a long, difficult labour and an hour of pushing before we realised she was stuck. My OB had to manually turn her then she was vacuumed out. I had a graze which required one stitch - no tears at all. I didn't do any peri prepping while pregnant, I think I might just be lucky enough to have a very stretchy vagina

    I wouldn't waste your money. Read up on different birth stories, birthing positions and what to do in different situations. My DD was in a posterior position for about 4 weeks before I gave birth so I did a lot of reading on posterior births. I also ended up having an epidural (which I didn't want to do but nothing could prepare me for the pain of a posterior labour!) which helped immensely when she was crowing as I could easily pause when I was instructed to do so as I had no pain. I'm not saying 'get the epi!' but I believe that helped me escape tearing. Oh, and my stretchy v-jayjay. LOL!
    Last edited by Taurean; July 13th, 2010 at 06:53 PM.

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    I was scrolling through my subscribed threads looking for something when I came across this one and thought I'd post the outcome of my birth for others who may be deciding if they will get an EPI-NO in the future.

    After posting this thread dh and I decided not to get an EPI-NO and not to do perineum stretches either. We had a good labour and birthed in the water. I had a 1st degree tear which didn't need stitches. I healed quickly with no drama or pain.

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