There are no certain ways of preventing tearing or episiotomy but you can try the following during active labor to minimize the need for one:

  • Try to relax your pelvic floor during labor. Practicing Kegel exercises during pregnancy will help you learn how to control your muscles.
  • Keep an upright or squatting position while laboring. Try not to labor on your back.
  • Try to push for as long a possible. Long pushes help your body stretch.

    During your pregnancy, you can also help your perineum prepare for birth by using perineal massage. Perineal massage uses creams and/or oil to help soften the area to enable it to stretch more easily. For more detailed steps, see the article on What is Perineal Massage?

    Can I prevent an episiotomy?