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Celebrities Don’t Want Vaginal Tearing: Should You?

C Section, Vaginal Birth

Recent mom-to-be Christina Aguilera commented she had a C-section to prevent vaginal tearing, just like fellow singing sensation Britney Spears. She gave birth to her two boys through C-section also. Delivering by C-section is a popular choice for many celebrities, regardless if they require it or not. So what’s the big fuss about vaginal tearing? Does giving birth literally tear your vagina open? What should you know about vaginal tearing before you get pregnant?

The Ugly, Ugly Truth
If you plan to have vaginal birth, be ready to face vaginal tearing. Your vagina does widen during birth, but your labia doesn’t, resulting in a tear. Once the baby is expelled, the thin skin between your vagina and anus, the perineum, tears because of excess force. Tears are measured in degrees, 1st being non-serious and requiring no stitches. 4th degree tears are the worst, tearing from your vagina through your anus. As you can guess, that requires stitches and a lot of down time.

Don’t worry, though, you usually won’t tear! Why? Because a doctor will cut it open for you, called an epsiotomy. An epsiotomy is a precise, straight cut, done on your perineum. This gives more room for your baby. Some physicians limit episiotomies because they increase the chances of 4th degree vaginal tears. You know, the tear that goes from your vagina to your anus? It’s very painful and takes months to heal.

This isn’t the reason celebrities are foregoing vaginal birth, however.

Tummy Tucks are So Awesome!
This rumor has circulated the net since Victoria Beckham gave birth to her youngest child. Celebrities opt for C-sections so they can get an emergency tummy tuck also! Isn’t that great? You can give birth, fix that stubborn belly fat you gained during pregnancy, and saunter out of the hospital looking better than ever. Sorry, Hollywood doesn’t excuse fat — even if it’s pregnancy fat.

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C-sections come with their own issues, though, including increased recovery and scarring. C-sections are designed to save babies in high risk situations, but celebrities choose this procedure for convenience’s sake. Christina Aguilera said this about her C-section birth:

“”I didn’t want any surprises,” she says matter-of-factly of her decision to deliver via scheduled C-section at week 37 of her pregnancy. “Honestly, I didn’t want any [vaginal] tearing. I had heard horror stories of women going in and having to have an emergency C-section

Usually it’s the doctor’s decision whether you give birth vaginally or through C-section, but money talks. Is vaginal birth really that awful, though?

Doesn’t Hurt, Ma!
You may tear during birth, but vaginal birth is better for you than a C-section. Why? Because it’s natural. Better yet, vaginal tearing is preventable. You can skip an epsiotomy by preparing yourself, usually 2 months before your due date. How you prepare is very simple — massage your perineum (men, a forewarning: this isn’t masturbation) daily to promote elasticity. Use round, circular motions and gently massage your perineum. If you’re too pregnant to reach it, ask your significant other for help. Although this won’t guarantee a missed epsiotomy, you decrease the chances of vaginal tearing.

If you do get an epsiotomy, you’ll be administered a needle to numb out the pain. You won’t feel the pain until after birth, when the drug wears off. Depending on the severity, you won’t vaginal stitches if it’s non-serious. You always risk the chance of additional tearing with vaginal birth, so massage your perineum to eliminate chances of an epsiotomy.

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