The Ring of Fire-
The ring of fire is not to be feared. It is to be welcomed and embraced. When you feel the ring of fire, do you know what it means? It means you are at the end! You are moments away from the finish line! You are a few pushes away from holding your baby in your arms! Every single person who has been telling you, “You are almost there!” hasn’t been lying to you – they were telling the truth. As the baby’s head comes under the pubic bone it starts to stretch the skin of the perineum and it burns as it stretches.
Do not run from this but rather go into it. Let the stretch be there.
Do not push through it but soften into it. Feel the burn and then breath space into it and it will then dissipate. If you have an overwhelming urge to push at this time, try to navigate it with what we call ‘bird breaths’ – little tiny breaths out of pursed lips with tiny grunts when can no longer hold back that push, pushing baby through the ring of fire which is stretching the perineum.
What you do NOT want to do is ‘sacrifice the perineum’ and push through with all your might, because that’s how you can create tears. Your mind might tell you to ‘get it done now!’, ‘avoid the pain!’ But do your best to do slow, controlled pushes and WELCOME in the burn – because why? Because that’s how you don’t tear!
Now, if you want to be part of the solution to not tearing, you can place your hands on your perineum to create counter pressure to prevent tearing. Yes, your Midwife and OB know how to do counter pressure on the perineum, but if you are feeling the burn up by the clitoris, use your hands as you will know exactly where to put them to prevent tears!
Plus, pushing your baby into your hands– there is nothing else in the world like it!
GraceFull Founder & Midwife- Elizabeth Bachner