Care and preparation – these two words are synonymous with the last few weeks of pregnancy. While the care part is usually taken care of, for most pregnant women, preparation just means preparing the child’s room. Well, that tops the list of course, but there is more to prepare for your pregnancy than just your little darling’s room.
Perineal massage is one such example. As the name suggests, it is a kind of massage and an important one for that matter. If you are heading towards the last week of your pregnancy, we suggest you know more on the subject of perineal massage and avail its benefits. So, here is a post to answer all your queries and simplify the concept, importance and benefits of perineal massage for you. Read on!
What Is Perineal Massage?
The perineum is the area right between you anus and vagina. Many doctors advise a perineal massage during the last weeks of pregnancy. It helps your body become more flexible during delivery and avoid tearing the birth canal or vaginal tearing. The massage reduces the need of stitches or an episiotomy or tearing. Simply put, consider perineal massage as training that an athlete undergoes to prepare himself before the final sprint. It helps you condition the muscle tissues around perineum area for the delivery (1).
[ Read: Techniques To Deal With Back Labor ]
Benefits Of Perineal Massage:Sponsored
Here are some of the benefits of a perineal massage:
- When you get close to delivering your baby, the perineum stretches and thins out to accommodate your baby’s head. More often than not, it results in vaginal tearing. But Perineal massage simply helps widen the birth canal.
- It is said to reduce the chances of tearing or severe tearing to some extent.
- Perineal Massage also helps avoid assisted delivery like vaccum extraction or usage of forceps during birth.
- It prepares your perineum for the stretch and eases it out. It in turn puts less strain on your baby’s head during the last 30 minutes of labor.
- Less tearing means less damage to your pelvic floor. This way your pelvic floor heals fast after you deliver.
- Perineal massage can also help prepare you for delivery and familiarizes you with the stretching and tingling.
- Women, who massage their perineum in the last weeks of pregnancy, feel less tingling sensations during crowning stage.
Know more about crowning at birth here:
[ Read: Ways To Relieve Pain During Labor ]
Does A Perineal Massage Guarantee No-Tear Birth?
No it does not. No one can guarantee you will not experience a tear until you deliver. However tearing is a common phenomenon during vaginal birth. So the massage can help prevent it to some extent.
How To Do The Perineal Massage?
You can do the massage yourself or even ask your partner or midwife to do it for you.
- Sit in a comfortable position and use pillows for better comfort.
- Bend your legs right at the knees. This position is necessary for you or your helper to reach to your perineum.
- Use some oil (vegetable oil is always preferred) on your fingers and thumb and gently start massaging your perineum.
- Now insert thumbs into your vagina as deep as you can and slowly push your perineum area down.
- Remember, you must push it down towards your rectum and sides too. Gently massage the area in U-shaped movement.
- Stretch the opening till the time you feel a slight tingling or sensation in the area.
- Try to hold the stretch for about 30-40 seconds (2).
A Perineal massage eases out the perineal skin and easily helps stretch the skin around that area up to 10 cm. Once this is achieved, there are reduced chances of performing a C-section. This process makes the skin surrounding you perineum more elastic. And once you deliver, the skin then can spring back to its original self slowly just like elastic.
Tell us how did perineal massage help you? Did you experience reduced tearing? Leave your valuable comments below and help other expecting mothers know the benefits of perineal massage during pregnancy.
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