Perineal massage prepares your body for labor

Perineal massage : It is believed that massaging the area between the vaginal opening & anus of the pregnant woman in the last weeks before labor may help to stretch these tissues in preparation for childbirth. This massage is also helpful to minimize stinging when baby’s head emerges from the vaginal opening.

Perineal massage may even help to avoid the need for an incision in perineum that enlarges the vaginal opening as the baby’s head is emerging. Perineal massage has long been recommended by midwives. But there is not yet any definite evidence that it prevents trauma to the perineum. But some studies have shown promising results.


Method of perineal massage : Perineal massage can be done by pregnant woman herself. First she should wash her hand thoroughly with soap & hot water. She should make sure that her nails are trimmed.then put K-Y jelly or some other mild lubricant on her thumbs & insert them inside her vagina. Press downward toward the rectum, stretching the tissues.

Repeat this process for about eight to ten times. she can do this practice daily herself or her partner can help in this process if she wishes. The woman can experience a little burning sensation or other discomfort as she massages her perineum. But she should not worry because this is normal. She must stop if she feels sharp pain.

Things to remember : The pregnant woman does not have to practice perineal massage if the idea makes her uncomfortable. She should keep in mind if she does it, it is no guarantee that she won’t have an episiotomy. Certain birth situations, such as those involving a large baby or a baby in an abnormal position, require an episiotomy for the safety of the baby. She will just have to wait & see what her experience of labor & childbirth brings.

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