How to perform perineal massage

How do I know if I am doing perineal massage correctly?

The critical thing to remember about perineal massage is that if you are feeling a stretching and mild muscle burn through the use of your fingers as you massage and press against the back portion of your birth canal (your vaginal opening), you are doing valuable perineal massage .

Does perineal massage really help?

For a first pregnancy, perineal massage has a modest and definitely measurable impact on reducing the need for stitches (either from tearing or an episiotomy). This translates to reducing the need for stitches by approximately 10 percent and the need for episiotomy by approximately 15 percent.

When should you start perineal massage?

You can start at any time from 34 weeks of your pregnancy . Perineal massage can be done by you or your partner, if you are comfortable with this. You may want to start off doing the massages to begin with, then invite your partner to massage as you get nearer to the time of the birth.

Does perineal massage hurt?

Perineal massage shouldn’t hurt , though it may feel quite uncomfortable, particularly at first. If you are finding it painful , especially after you’ve been doing it for a few weeks, your GP or midwife can help to check your technique.

How often should I do perineal massage?

Try to do this one to two times per week. Doing it more often won’t help more and might hurt the skin. Fit it into your weekly routine, for example during or after a bath or shower. This is a good time because blood vessels in the area are already dilated, making the perineum softer and more comfortable to massage .

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How can I loosen my perineum?

Perineal massage lengthens and softens the tissues of the perineum . You can start this at 35 weeks of pregnancy. Perform this massage technique for 10 minutes once a day. Take a warm bath or hold a warm compress on the perineum for 10 minutes to help you relax before the massage.

Does perineal massage induce labor?

Perineal massage will not induce labor , however it is best to avoid unnecessary stimulation. See related article “Protecting Your Perineum ” by Hayley Oakes LM, CPM as to how to further prevent tearing during childbirth.

Do you shave before giving birth?

Our current advice is that you don’t shave or wax your pubic area just prior to giving birth , as this increases your risk of infection, especially if you have an operative procedure like a caesarean section.

How many bones do you break while giving birth?

Newborns Have More Bones However, over time, these extra bones eventually fuse together. A newborn is born with around 300 bones , but by the time the baby has grown into adulthood, he or she will have only 206 bones .

How can I avoid tearing during childbirth?

To decrease the severity of vaginal tearing , try to get into a labor position that puts less pressure on your perineum and vaginal floor, like upright squatting or side-lying, Page says. Hands-and-knees and other more forward-leaning positions can reduce perineal tears , too.

How can I prepare my body for labor?

Four Easy Ways to Prepare Your Body for Labor and Birth Get/stay/keep walking. Walking is one of the simplest but most effective ways to move your body — and it provides benefits far beyond the physical. Minimize sitting. As a culture, we spend too much time sitting and sitting in poor form. Start squatting. Move over kegels — make room for squats! Wear flats.

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How do you prevent perineal tears?

From 35 weeks onwards, you or your partner can use daily perineal massage until your baby is born which may reduce your risk of tearing . Perineal massage while pregnant Warm bath. Sit in a warm bath before you start. Short nails. Comfortable position. Lubricant. Thumbs. Gentle massage. Repeat daily or when possible.

How do I give my wife a perineal massage?

Insert your thumbs or fingers about one inch inside of the vagina, resting your palms against your inside leg. Press gently down with your thumbs or fingers toward the anus, then pull them apart from each other and out to the sides. Keep massaging down and out to stretch and relax these tissues.

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