Return to Pregnancy and Giving Birth Home Page


Birth Options

Birth Videos



Perineal Massage

Tips for how to do perineal massage to prepare for labor and giving birth.

1,2Research has shown that massaging the perineum during labor does not have any significant impact on perineal outcomes, however, antenatal perineum massage DOES reduce the likelihood of perineal trauma (mainly episiotomies). Three months after birth, women who had practiced massage of the perineum were less likely to report perineal pain - regardless of whether or not they had an episiotomy.

It is therefore recommended that the perineum should be massaged regularly during the final 4-5 weeks of pregnancy.

The purpose is to increase the elasticity of the tissues in the area. It also helps to familiarise the woman with the stretching sensation and pressure that is experienced while giving birth vaginally.

How to Perform Perineum Massage

  • A good time to do this is immediately after a bath or shower.
  • Wash your hands and scrub your fingernails. Make sure your fingernails are not long and sharp.
  • Find a comfortable position, reclining or squatting, where you can reach your perineum easily.
  • Apply a natural massage oil on your thumbs and insert them 3-4cm inside the vagina and press the perineum towards the rectum and sideways.
  • Gently stretch the vaginal opening until you feel a slight burning or tingling sensation. Hold the pressure for a few minutes until the area starts to feel numb.
  • Slowly massage in the oil, maintaining the pressure.
  • Pay particular attention to massaging any scar tissue from previous episiotomies or tears.
  • You can also massage the outside skin of the perineal area.
  • Repeat this massage of the perineum daily.

More Pages Related to Perineum Massage

Tips to Avoid Episiotomy and Tearing

Kegel Exercises for the Pelvic Floor

The Amazing Female Pelvis

Use of a Birth Ball in Labor

Back to Episiotomy


1. Georgina Stamp, Gillian Kruzins, Caroline Crowther. Perineal massage in labour and prevention of perineal trauma: randomised controlled trial. BMJ. 2001 May 26; 322 (7297): 1277–1280

2. Beckmann MM, Garrett AJ., Antenatal perineal massage for reducing perineal trauma, Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2006 Jan 25;(1):CD005123.


Return to Top

Back to Pregnancy and Giving Birth Home Page



| Home | Birth Videos | Birth Options | Privacy Policy | About | Site Search |

Disclaimer:  All information is provided for informational purposes only, although every effort is made to provide accurate and current information.
The site content is not intended to be or to substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Always seek the advice of a suitably qualified health care professional regarding your individual medical needs.
Pregnancy and Giving is not responsible nor liable for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis, services or products obtained via this website.

Return to Top of Perineal Massage
Copyright © 2010-2016, Pregnancy and Giving Birth
All Rights Reserved.