Perineal Massage : Benefits, Timing, How-To's

Perineal Massage : Benefits, Timing, How-To's

What is the perineal area?

The perineal area is the space between the anus and the vulva. This area includes the perineum (the fleshy area between the vaginal opening and the anus), the anus, and the vaginal opening.

What is a perineal massage?

A perineal massage is a massage of the perineal area. This type of massage can help to reduce pain during labor and delivery, and may also help to prevent tears in the perineum.

Does perineal massage really help with labor pain and delivery?

There is some evidence that perineal massage may help to reduce pain during labor and delivery, and may also help to prevent tears in the perineum. However, more research is needed to confirm these benefits.

What are the benefits of having a perineal massage?

There are many benefits to perineal labor massage, both for the mother and the baby.

- Reducing pain during labor and delivery

- Preventing tears in the perineum

- Shortening the second stage of labor

- Decreasing the need for episiotomy (a surgical incision made in the perineum to enlarge the vaginal opening)

- Reduce the risk of developing jaundice for the baby

- Can help to improve the baby's immune system

- Promote bonding between the mother and the baby

What is the timing like for perineal massage?

Perineal massage should be started at least 4 weeks before your due date. It can be done daily, or every other day. It is generally recommended that you start massaging your perineum (the area between the anus and vagina) during the last few weeks of pregnancy. This helps to soften the tissue and make it more elastic, which can help reduce tearing during labor.  If you are not sure how to do perineal massage, ask your healthcare provider or childbirth educator for instructions.

How to do perineal massage?

To do perineal massage:

1. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.

2. Apply an oil or a lubricant to your thumbs and index fingers.

3. Place your thumbs on either side of the perineum, about an inch (2.5 cm) below the vaginal opening.

4. Gently stretch the perineum downwards and outwards while massaging in a "U" shape.

5, Repeat this motion several times until the perineum feels stretched.

6. Take a break if the perineum becomes too tender.

7. After the perineal massage is complete, wash your hands again with soap and water.

Important note:  If you have any slight pain or discomfort during the massage, stop and consult your healthcare provider. 



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