When your skin is stretching during birth, it can tear. It is common for first-time mothers to have some tearing during vaginal birth, and there is also the possibility that you could have an episiotomy, which is a surgical incision. The good news is that there are some things you can do leading up to, and during, your labor and birth to prevent this. I know all of this can sound scary, but it shouldn’t be. The benefits of a vaginal delivery far outweigh the downside of a tear or an episiotomy. Keep in mind some women make it through a vaginal birth without any tearing, so it is not unavoidable. If you do end up with a tear or incision, there is a lot you can do to make yourself more comfortable, give yourself some relief, and help your body heal afterward.