What do you think is the worst part about a natural delivery? The labor pains? The pushing?
Most young ladies mistakenly think it’s the childbirth ring of fire—like it’s going to burn right through your bottom as the description depicts, leaving you burnt to a crisp with blisters or something.
That’s hardly the case.
What Is The Childbirth Ring Of Fire?
Your baby is descending down the birth canal and about to come out after all your pushing. Your vagina and perineal tissue is being stretched to the max.
Then your baby’s head reaches its largest circumference and is crowning. Until their head comes out far enough for your tissue to actually shrink back down, you feel the ring of fire.
- It’s an intense stretching that can feel like burning.
- There’s an extreme pressure that pushes you to the cusp of intensity.
- It lasts for only a second or two at most.
The Truth About The Fire
Most women express that it’s not even as frightening as it sounds. It happens so fast after so many other labor and delivery sensations that it’s usually not given a second thought.
However, some women have shared with me that it’s quite distinct and that being called the ‘ring of fire’ is a very worthy description. But I believe that ALL natural birthing mothers agree that it’s nothing compared to everything felt prior.
I personally don’t think that it’s anything to be feared during childbirth. I’ve felt it twice and it’s such a tiny moment that’s not even clearly recognizable amidst all the other pressures and urges felt in the moment.
So why all the fuss?
Perhaps because for a few women, it can be the pinnacle of undesired sensation. One dear lady like yourself may have had a terrible moment in the end of her delivery where her ring of fire created a story that spread like ‘fire’ to the rest of us.
We always hear the terrible things first and most, right?
But that’s not to discredit anyone’s experiences. We all have different experiences with our births and will describe the same moments of birth completely different from each other. So there’s no reason why this aspect of a birth should vary otherwise.
How To Quench The Fire
But luckily, there are a few things you can do to help reduce the chances of feeling the flames of crowning.
- Perineal Massage – you can easily do perineal massage in the months before your birth to help stretch out and keep your tissues pliable.
- Water Birth – there are many sensations that are dulled and relaxed when you’re in the water. Plus, the moisture can help contribute to lessened chances of tearing, allowing your tissues to stretch farther.
- Use Gravity – your position is everything. The weight of your body, baby’s body, and sheer gravity help to even out the pressure around the crowning.
- Open Up – when you’re squatting, your birth canal opening can be up to 1 cm larger. Baby’s head gets out easier when there’s more room.
- Moisturize – keep your perineal tissue moisturized on a regular basis with a non-perfumy lotion or cream to help the skin stretch better. Keeping up on your water intake will also help.
- Oil Up – the essential oil helichrysum is known to help support perineal tissue. You can apply it during labor so it’s fresh in your tissues.
But even if you use all of these methods, it’s no guarantee that you won’t have the expected intensity at crowning.
Just remember that it’s over VERY quickly.
You will be so ready to finish with your delivery that you will not care about that little ring of fire after all is said and done.
The more important things to prepare for happen before the ring of fire. Lucky for you, I’ve found one of the best methods to do so.
Have any of you fellow mommies felt the dreaded ring of fire? I welcome any and all shares. Best!