perineal massage PRIOR to labor (self-administered) is beneficial, but during labor it is not, and they're stopping the recommendation of it. Instead compresses as counterpressure on the perineum seem to do better at preventing tears.
Esposito vs. Kathy Sloane-Need help choosing between hospitals and Midwives in Maryland!!!!! - Page 3
I've also read a description somewhere of a more gentle 'rubbing' type of perineal massage, concentrated down towards the anus (no yanking apart witdh-wise.) Is that what you mean?
I read on that same thread on the birth pros forum that someone saw an OB "bust a mama's perinium wide open." She wrote it was horrible & even the OB seemed surprised & horrified.
I'm not an SA survivor, but the 'wrenching' thing sounds awful to me. As I wrote, it sounds downright violent & I certainly would think it would not only inhibit, but anger me.
I didn't read up on it too extensively, but I think I remember reading that the jury is sorta still out on it - some studies show benefit some don't. But the pre-labor massage in late pregnancy, many women find to be uncomfortable & possibly painful. So I thought 'to heck with it.'
I have no idea what this "wrenching" perineal massage is. I've yet to see a midwife do any type of stretching that hurt the mother. They mostly use hot compresses, and in a long pushing stage may use some perineal massage but nothing that looks to be (or is reported to be by the client) painful or harmful as they are just using oil sometimes and sometimes lube to make the skin stretchy as the head is coming in preparation for birth to avoid a tear.
I'd say, ask a midwife you work with for more info and definitely talk to your providers to make sure they don't do something you don't want them to.
Edited by BirthWithFaith - 4/12/11 at 5:16am