Third & Fourth Degree Childbirth Tears

 Pregnant Women | Childbirth InjuriesAlthough childbirth is daunting, becoming a mother is an exciting and enchanting time – one that many women are lucky enough to experience. However, some women do experience complications during their childbirth, sometimes with lasting effects that require further medical attention.

Complications during childbirth can be can be extremely distressing for mothers, often putting strain on the relationships with new baby and others around them. Approximately 90% of women experience some degree of vaginal tearing during childbirth, affecting their wellbeing in the early stages of motherhood.

If you or a family member has suffered a childbirth tear, please call us on 1890 989 289, email us on or complete an Online Enquiry.

Childbirth Injury: Types of Childbirth Tears

  • First Degree Tear: This type of vaginal tear is common in 10% of childbirths and is usually a superficial, skin-deep tear and tends not to require medial attention. These wounds heal themselves over time.
  • Second Degree Tear: Second-degree tears are deeper tears that affect the muscle of the perineum (the skin between the vagina and the anus) as well as the skin. These often require small stitches that will dissolve over time to help the healing along.
  • Third Degree Tear: This tear runs from the vaginal wall across the perineum and towards the anal sphincter. Because this muscle controls the anus, it can cause complications with going to the toilet
  • Fourth Degree Tears: The most severe, the 4th degree tear is similar to the third degree tear, extending from the vaginal wall to the anal sphincter. These also can extend further into the anal canal and rectum.

Childbirth Injury: Suffering Third & Fourth Degree Tears

The statistics show that 90% of women will suffer a tear whist giving birth, whilst 9% will endure a fourth degree tear. There are several reasons why a severe tear may occur:

  • It’s the mother’s first vaginal delivery
  • The mother experiences an assisted delivery using forceps or other apparatus
  • The mother has delivered a large baby (over 8lbs)
  • The mother’s labour was induced
  • The baby’s shoulder got stuck behind the mothers pubic bone
  • The mother was pushing for a very long time
  • The mother was pushing for a very short amount of time

Childbirth Injury: Episiotomy

An Episiotomy is a medical procedure where a doctor or midwife makes a cut in a women’s perineum. In some cases, the medical team will need to perform an episiotomy to enable the smooth birth of a child. This may be because:

  • The baby’s heart rate has decreased
  • The mother is suffering from exhaustion
  • The baby is breech
  • The mother is suffering from heart disease and needs to deliver the baby quickly

If an episiotomy is carried out, it’s normally repaired within an hour or so after the childbirth. However, the process can be both painful and overwhelming.

There are many associations that offer support and information about birthing complications to the mother. The Royal College Of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists have a great resource for common health questions after the birth and complications suffered.

Personal Injury Claims

Experiencing a childbirth tear of any kind is an unwanted and traumatic childbirth complication. If you think it’s a complication that could have been avoided, get in touch with us today. Gibson and Associates are experienced Personal Injury Solicitors and can help you claim for childbirth injuries.

Please call us on 1890 989 289, email us on or complete an Online Enquiry and we’ll be in touch with you shortly.

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