When it comes to giving birth, there are as many different experiences as there are babies being born. It’s not just the fact that every woman is different, but childbirth can even differ for the same woman each time. However, one thing that pops up consistently is women describing what is known as “the ring of fire”. If you have never given birth before, this doesn’t sound exciting. In fact, it sounds like pain. What is it really, and how will you experience it during childbirth?

When the Baby Is Crowning

The ring of fire refers to the baby’s head being born. Initially, the baby will be crowning. You can feel his head at your vaginal opening, but the head has yet to be born. At this point, your vaginal tissues need to stretch quite a bit in order to help your baby fit. It can feel painful for a lot of women. While you won’t necessarily rip apart, there might be a moment or two when you’re worried about that.

What to Do

As your baby’s head is being born, there are essential two courses of action open to you. On the one hand, you are having a powerful contraction, and your body might be telling you to push. On the other hand, you have this intense painful sensation around your vagina, which is telling you to stop pushing. In order to prevent tearing, you’re going to want to try to breathe through the contraction as much as possible.
You may also want to use some counter pressure to help your tissues stretch gradually. You can use a warm washcloth or oil compress to prevent tearing. And you definitely don’t want to miss out on feeling your baby come out of you. You can put your hand there and feel his head. After all, it’s your body.
If you want to avoid vaginal tears, then you should really not push through the pain of the ring of fire. It’s easy to just give up and push to get it over with, but it’s much better for your vaginal tissue if you pace yourself just a little bit. Either way, you’re minutes away from holding your baby in your arms.