The Pelvic Floor Project

24. Life after a 4th degree perineal tear

October 04, 2021 Season 1 Episode 24
The Pelvic Floor Project
24. Life after a 4th degree perineal tear
Show Notes

In this episode, I sit down with patient advocate, Laura Fry to discuss:

  • Laura’s experience with a 4th degree tear during her first birth
  • Why she started an online support group
  • What physical symptoms are commonly experienced after 4th degree tear
  • How the physical symptoms affect the life of a mom
  • The benefits of educating yourself
  • How to advocate for yourself
  • How a pelvic health physiotherapist can help

Laura Fry is the founder of Life After 4th Degree Tears which began in 2018. Laura experienced a 4th degree tear in 2012 during her first birth. After suffering alone and not finding the support she needed, in person or online, she created a Facebook support group in January 2015 for those who experienced a 4th degree tear on childbirth.

As the support group grew and she was hearing hundreds of stories, Laura realized that 4th degree tears are a very traumatic experience, and usually one that is suffered in silence. Many times we do not feel comfortable talking about the symptoms we are experiencing, even with our doctors. There is so much shame associated with things like fecal incontinence that we are left feeling dirty and isolated. The relief that is felt in joining the support group and finally being able to talk about these things with others who are going through the same thing is immense. But we are realizing that we have to be able to talk about it outside of the group. We have to be willing to open up about our experiences to let others, including medical professionals, know how we are truly feeling, physically and emotionally.

So that is the purpose of Life After 4th Degree Tears. To tell our stories in an effective way to create changes in maternity care, so others giving birth do not have to suffer like we have.

Links mentioned in the episode:

Laura’s Facebook support groupis called 4th Degree Tear Support Group

Facebook support group for all degrees of tears is called Birth Tear Support (BTS) - for severe and complicated tears

Jo's Instagram

Gill’s Instagram


4th Degree tears instagram

Thanks for joining me! Here is where you can find more:

my online course to walk you through pregnancy, birth prep and postpartum recovery:

I offer online 1:1 appointments to help you address the physical symptoms holding you back from living your best life. 

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