Perineal Massage During Pregnancy: Yay Or Nay?

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perineal massage
Supriya Singh
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Are you planning on conceiving very soon? Natural childbirth on your mind lately? But worried about the skin tears or perineal damage due to vaginal childbirth? 

There may be a way to minimize the chances of you suffering from perineal damage- Perineal Massage. The word sounds so uneasy and uncomfortable, doesn’t it? But if you want to reduce the chances of perineal tearing and possible scarring in the area, you should give perineal massage a try. 

The vaginal tissue is built in such a way that it can withstand the delivery of a child. It is amazingly stretchable to accommodate the delivery of a baby safely. Unlike the vaginal tissue, the perineum is very prone to skin tears and severe damage.

The experience of natural birth differs from one woman to another.  Some may suffer minute damage which heals by itself in a few days, while some may suffer damage that needs surgery to fix the area. 

What is perineal massage?

The perineum refers to the small gap which is present between the vagina and the anus.

During a perineal massage, this area is massaged with two fingers to make it softer and stretchable. I know it is very awkward. 

This massage can be done by oneself or the partner can help with the massage as well. 

I know, it is not the most appealing thing to do that also during pregnancy, but you’ve got to it if something good comes out of it. 

When should you start with perineal massage during pregnancy?

According to the health line, the appropriate time to start with the perineal massage is when you are pregnant for 34 weeks. But, before doing so, do consult with your doctor if getting the perineal massage is a safe idea or not. If you get the green signal, then you are good to go for the massage. 

How to perform perineal massage by yourself?

perineal massage
  • Wash your hands thoroughly. Your fingers will linger around your private parts, hence, clean fingers are a must. Also, keep your nails short for the massage. 
  • You have to do the massage on the bed with pillows stacked around your back. Spread your legs wide open and bend your knees. 
  • For lubrication, you can use any good essential oil or oils such as coconut oil, olive oil, etc. Apply the oil nicely to your thumbs over your vagina.
  • Insert your thumbs which are well lubricated into your vagina downwards. You should go deep inside about 1 inch. 
  • After reaching about 1 inch, apply pressure gently downwards and massage the area in a U- shape motion. 
  • You may feel a little bit of discomfort and sting like sensation but you should not feel any pain. 
  • Continue for the next three to five minutes only.
  • Keep in mind to take a gap of a few seconds if you feel too uncomfortable and continue. 
  • Try to relax during the massage.

In case, you want your partner to do the massage for you, then the index fingers are to be used. 

How often to do perineal massage?

You can practice this massage once or twice a week until you get admitted for delivery. Moreover, if you feel awkward or uneasy, it is okay to skip it every now and then. 

Should you go for it or skip it?

There is no scientific backup that perineal massage helps reduce labor pain or prevents the perineum damage. A plus point is, there is no harm in trying the massage anyway. It will have only positive effects but only if you do it in the right way.

Even a couple who gave this massage a try, claims to have gone through a vaginal birth of their child with hardly any skin tears. 

perineal massage

Pregnancy and childbirth are both a hard phase to go through especially for the mother. Although perineal massages are not 100 per cent effective, you can still go for it. To make things easier and smooth, you can try the perineal massage, prenatal massage and Lamaze classes as well. Talk to someone who has some experience in such cases for better guidance.

The human body is so amazing and has a lot of endurance. But sometimes, our bodies may need a bit of help as well in building endurance.

Take care♥