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.
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.
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