As if delivering a healthy second child into the world wasn’t enough to be happy about, Chrissy Teigen is also celebrating having made it through childbirth without dealing with a rough perineal tear.
The 32-year-old delivered adorable baby Miles Theodore Stephens on May 17, and just a few days later, debuted him on social media:
But in between celebrating his arrival, Teigen also opened up, albeit briefly, in her usual comical manner, about her birthing experiences. As it turns out, while the delivery of Miles went smoothly, the first time she gave birth to daughter Luna, she suffered a laceration that went all the way down to her “butthole”:
If it sounds bad, just know that it feels worse.
There are four different types of lacerations, which are known as perineal tears. They are often caused by the size of the baby’s head, the positioning of the baby, anatomy of the mother, or certain interventions. It’s also likely to happen when the mother hasn’t given birth before, the baby as a whole is large (not just the head), and if the baby comes out with its face forward during delivery.
First-degree tears don’t impact the muscles, and are generally a tear dealing with the outermost layer of the vagina. They usually heal up on their own quickly and are common.
Second-degree tears require stitches. They are tears that impact the vaginal lining, as well as deeper tissues of the vagina.
Third and fourth-degree tears are where Teigen found herself after delivering Luna. The third-degree tear goes through the perineal muscles and the layer that surround your anal canal. As for the fourth-degree laceration, it’s a tear that goes deeply through the anal sphincter and rectal lining, and it’s not as common.
For both, surgery is required, and it can take months for the tear to heal completely. And in the latter cases, such serious tears can increase a woman’s risk of anal incontinence, which is the inability to control one’s bowel movements. They will also require you to increase fiber in your diet to soften up the bowel movements you end up having for a hopefully less painful passage.
According to recent studies, more than 85 percent of women deal with some sort of tearing while giving birth. About 60 to 70 percent required some sort of stitches for it. And while there isn’t a way to fully prevent it, there are ways to reduce the risk, including perineal massages for women giving birth for the first time, waterbirths that can soften the perineum before the child is delivered, and using midwives who may apply certain techniques to guide the baby’s head through the vagina in a way that could do less damage.
All in all, delivery is not the greatest thing to go through obviously. However, many women have dealt with these tears and gotten through it — including Teigen. And in the end, it’s all worth it to bring a healthy and happy child into the world.
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