Thursday 3 August 2017

Perineal Massage with the Natural Birthing Company

Something that I haven't fully discussed on my blog is the results of my labour and delivery with Aoife; the gorgeous 7lb 10oz bundle left me with a third degree tear and, what I recently discovered, a three unit blood transfusion as a result of a 2.5 litre postpartum haemorrage. The aftermath initially put me off of a vaginal delivery again and I even queried about an elective c-section for any future deliveries.

Looking back, I can see that I was rather naive about labour in general; I just assumed that once Aoife was born that that would be it and I would be sent straight home with my new addition. Nothing could have prepared me for being whisked down to theatre, spinal anaesthetics, stitches, cannulation and being hooked up to drips for three days in hospital.
In the months that followed, I noticed that a lot of women weren't comfortable with discussing their labours; it seemed that I was in the minority and would happily discuss it, warts and all. To me, labour was and still is one of the most natural things for a woman's body to go through. People could not believe how open I was to discussing how I tore from one end to the other and my bowel movements during the process. But as far as I was concerned, it was my labour and I wasn't going to pretty it up for anyone who asked about it.
When I was approached by the Natural Birthing Company to try out their 'Down Below' Perineal Massage Oil, I must admit that I was rather intrigued. The oil is composed of 100 per cent natural fragrance free plant oils and can be used from 34 weeks; its aim is to help your skin stretch and help increase the elasticity of your perineal muscles. This in turn can help to reduce the risks of tearing or episiotomy.
Tears can be common in birth and are the most common in first vaginal births. They range from a first degree to a fourth degree; with Aoife I suffered from a third degree tear. This type of tear affects the vaginal tissue, perineal skin and perineal muscles that extend through to the anal sphincter. It resulted in me having to sign a consent form (whilst still very much out of it) and being taken straight down to theatre before having a spinal anaesthetic and stitches.
Due to this, I am now more at risk of a repeat performance compared to a woman who hasn't torn before. With this in mind, I couldn't wait to test this oil out; of course I won't know the full results until the little one is here, but for now I can let you know how I'm finding the oil!
I actually didn't hit the 34 week mark until last month, however I did get some use out of the oil before then; turns out it is perfect to help soothe an itchy pregnancy belly, especially during a heatwave!
Once the 34 week mark arrived, I started to use the oil for its intended purpose. I searched online how to correctly massage and found some amazing guides! For the first couple of weeks, I used the oil twice a week and have now worked up to almost every other day at 38 weeks.
As mentioned earlier, the oil is fragrance free which I, personally, am glad about. When it comes to personal products I always feel that natural, fragrance free is the way to go.
I am currently on baby watch at 38 weeks and 1 day; so far I am loving this product. I will certainly be sure to update you all about how the birth went and if the oil made a difference at all.

*Disclaimer* I was sent the Down Below Perineal Massage Oil in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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