When your doctor asks you to start pushing during labor, you’ll know it’s time for the final countdown. The ring of fire pregnancy is associated with just that! Here, we will tell you about this pregnancy condition and what you can do if you face it.
When you enter labor, the baby starts moving to come out into the world. However, the baby might take some time to arrive. The moment the doctor sees the baby’s head coming out is known as crowning. In each contraction, the head starts heading out for its arrival.
During crowning, the perineum and labia skin stretch massively. When skin tearing occurs, it may cause a burning sensation. This sensation is mainly experienced by every woman during labor but stays only for a few seconds.
The burning continues until the vagina is fully stretched, and the nerve signals get blocked. As you see, the head is entirely out, and with a couple of contractions, the baby will soon be out. This burning sensation is often called the ring of fire.
Tearing in the ring of fire pregnancy
As the skin tearing happens due to the baby’s crowning, sometimes the tear increases a lot as the skin doesn’t get stretched as it should. Tearing goes through different stages:
- First-degree: Tearing happens in the perineum tissue and often heals without or with stitches.
- Second-degree: In the second degree, the skin of the vagina starts to tear. This takes a few stitches and some time to recover.
- Third-degree: In this stage, the tearing starts to happen around the muscle of the anus along with the perineum. This takes weeks to heal and requires surgery.
- Fourth-degree: This tear breaks the anal sphincter, the mucous membrane around the rectum, and the perineum. Same as the third-degree, this requires surgery that takes longer to recover.
If you face the first two degrees, you’re more likely to face mild symptoms or stinging pain during urination. However, the 3rd and 4th degrees may face severe pain during intercourse or fecal incontinence.
The ring of fire pregnancy term might scare you by its name but do not worry. These tears are prevalent in delivery and take a couple of weeks to heal. It is completely a normal procedure, and the stitches usually fall off by themselves when it’s healed.
Mothers are the strongest person to bear child labor, and it cannot be compared to any other pain. Once you see the baby coming out and they hear the noise, everything becomes easier, and it’ll all be done in a jiffy.
The feeling of the ring of fire pregnancy
You must be wondering how is feeling of the ring of fire. So, during labor, just when you’re about to pop, you are most like to feel a force around the rectum same as the pressure you get before poop.
The crowning of the baby is associated with irritation and stretching of the vagina and anus, known as the perineum tissue. This stretching feels like a burning sensation as the newborn starts to peep out. Now, this is the feeling of the ring of fire where there’s no literal fire involved.
However, due to the current science and technological advancement, the pain can now be subsided with medication use. During labor, the doctor of the physician might prescribe you a painkiller or an epidural block that numbs the lower body with the help of a tube.
If you need more painkillers or an epidural is not given for some reason, the doctor may give you a nerve block known as pudendal, which helps during crowning.
The surprising part is sometimes it all happens without even the medications. The people around you can play a significant role in smooth labor. Your spouse and family can give tremendous support to ease you through the pain during labor. Sometimes a warm massage at the back or patting your forehead with a cool piece of cloth can help in lessening your discomfort.
The perineal massage is very useful while dealing with the ring of fire. It not only reduces the burn but helps to reduce the pressure created during labor. Changing positions, breathing, and reducing pressure during pushing may help you prevent the pain. You should never try to hold your breath while coaching or pushing; this can worsen the pain.
Causes of the ring of fire pregnancy
The process of going into labor is complex and has three stages:
- Effacement and Dilation: In this stage, the cervix opens up, and the muscles in the uterus start to push the baby to come out. The baby starts coming to the position where it needs to be during delivery, which is essential.
- Pushing: As the uterus starts pushing the baby out of the birthing canal, this is known as crowning, and at the same time the pregnancy ring of fire starts.
- Placenta formation: this is the final stage, where the placenta starts separating from the uterus’s wall and comes out just after the newbie.
Now, these may look like a lot, but it all happens within a few seconds. Dilation, pushing, and the placenta coming out all happen together without you knowing. As you see the baby’s face, you’ll know it was all worth it.
So, relax, it’s not as scary as it sounds. It is normal, and you can do it as you have come so far already. Nourishing the baby all these nine months was no joke. Dealing with that, it will take a few more minutes until you meet your best human for life.
Ways to prevent a ring of fire pregnancy
Here are some ways to ensure not feeling this pain at all:
As you reach the final trimester, it is very important for your baby to take the correct positioning for labor. It’ll be of great help before your labor. The doctors start asking for regular visits during the final trimester to check on the baby’s positioning.
The reason being when you start going into labor, the aptest position of the baby is said to be when its head faces downwards, with the head’s back facing your tummy’s front.
The funny part is you cannot control your baby’s mood or movement. Hence in the final weeks, it becomes very important to keep an eye on the baby’s position before birth. Sometimes the positions aren’t favorable; then the doctor might give you a few exercises to help in bringing the baby into the correct position.
Water birthing isn’t that common among couples, but it’s a great way to ditch the pregnancy ring of fire. If you think water birthing can be the best option for you, get yourself the best midwife who can help you through this process.
As per studies, water birthing has helped a lot of women to escape the ring of fire pregnancy. There is also research that even after multiple births, there was no sign of tearing during the water birthing process.
Perineal massage during birth can do wonders in preventing the ring of fire. This has become very common in many pregnancies, so don’t worry. It’s a massage between your anus and the vagina. It makes the skin stretchy to mitigate the pain, and you may even be able to escape it entirely.
When crowning happens, the skin starts to stretch and tear, but if a proper perineal massage is given, there might not be any tearing at all.
Spiritual ways to prevent the pregnancy ring of fire
It is only you who knows the feeling, and nobody else can understand the pain that you go through, hence do what you find the best for you and your baby.
Below are a few tips that you can adopt by yourself to have healthy labor:
This might sound crazy, but breathing during your labor can actually help you in reducing stress, which helps in stretching the cervix. Tearing happens when there’s pressure, and force are applied for the skin to stretch. Hence, holding your breath should be highly avoided as it may cause coercion.
Trust your instincts
It is very important as a mother to understand your body’s instincts. You need to relax before you get into labor. You are going to deliver, so you need to be sure that it’s time for the final showdown. There is no rush; if you need time to calm yourself down, take it. Remember, every human body is different, do not compare it with anybody else’s labor experience. For now, you and your baby need all the attention.
Comfortable labor position
Make sure you are in a comfortable labor position. It is very important for you to be in the best position possible before the contraction starts. Don’t be tense, and walk around if you feel like it. There’s no rule book to follow a position in labor, so be comfortable in whatever way you feel. Don’t be fooled by movies, as they show lying down is the only way to give birth.
If you are still worried about your big day, try joining a prenatal class, as they tend to clear your mind with all the confusion you have before labor.
The ring of fire pregnancy birthing positions
There are a few favorable & unfavorable positions that you should know before your labor. These tips can help you to handle the pain of the ring of fire.
Below are a few of the unfavorable positions that you can consider avoiding which can aggravate the pain:
- Do not lie completely flat with your back
- Squatting is not a good thing to do for women who are not familiar with squats
- The standard leaned back with feet stirrups position isn’t entirely favorable
Some favorable positions are:
- All fours: In this position, you need to be on your knees and hands, which works great for the attendants and you since the pressure on your perineum is negligible and doesn’t cause much stress.
- Semi-kneeling or semi-squatting: This position might turn out to be one of the best ways to give birth. As the position gives you utmost control of your body. Since here, the pressure on the perineum is significantly less, and you can control things as per your comfort. This position is also very common among pregnant women as the feeling of pain is less.
- Kneeling: This is another variation where you have more control to handle the pressure on the perineum. As per your body’s comfort, you can stretch and contract. The pain in this position is much lesser than in the other positions.
Baby and mother connection
From the very beginning, when you know that you’re pregnant, the bond between you and your child starts forming. However, this bond requires nourishment. You must talk to your baby inside the womb to form a better connection. The baby in your womb has the ability to hear and feel you. The baby can feel the pain, agony, stress, happiness, and excitement.
You must have heard people talking to you about meditation and yoga during pregnancy. Well, meditation and yoga have always been integral parts of a healthy lifestyle. And now that you’re pregnant, it is all the more important for you to make your baby meditate along with you.
There must have been instances where they say, ‘don’t do this’ or don’t watch this’ during your pregnancy because the baby understands everything around you. So, as you involve yourself in spirituality, the baby will also be able to get the spiritual effects.
Now, how is the connection going to help during labor? Well, once you are calm and start talking to your baby during labor, the baby also tends to understand your emotion. Try talking to the baby even during labor, it will help ease your labor, and within a few minutes, you’ll have your baby in your arms.
I hope this article helped you calm your fear of the ring of fire, and the tips help you have a healthy labor experience.