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perineal massage

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Anyone doing this?  Anyone planning on doing this?  Anyone done this with past pregnancies?


I am curious to give it a try but am wondering if its wasted effort.  I have a tendency to tear during sex so I figure I am a shoe-in for tearing during delivery.  But if perineal massage has proven useful and helpful for others than maybe I should give it a go ...

post #2 of 10

I would not say we've done actual  perineal massage but instead perineal support during labor.


My first labor they gave me an episiotomy. It was either that or c-section. irked.gif  So after that I was extra worried about tearing during future labors.


I was talking to my husband about my worries and he said he could use his hand as a 'support' for my perineum when I started pushing during labor with our next child..  It was exactly what I needed.  He kept his hand supporting me throughout the labor and it helped so much, especially when I really started pushing, his hand gave me something to push against! VERY helpful.


And the best part of all....4 babies later I haven't torn once. thumb.gif

post #3 of 10

I have been told that perineal massage doesn't necessarily prevent tearing, but it can help you practice relaxing your perineum so that you can do it when the time comes.  When you are pushing, it helps if you can relax it to let the baby come out instead of keeping it tensed up.  You could have your partner press on it firmly like the massage technique, and then practice your relaxation skills to see if you can let it relax during the pressure.  If you imagine that you are blowing into a soda bottle and blow out, you can feel your perineum kind of drop down.  My childbirth teacher called it a reverse kegel.  She said to start doing them closer to labor and not too early.  If you are doing kegels and then just try to push out instead of pull in you can kind of feel the area drop.  I hope that makes sense.  Like BumkinsMum said support is great.  Your partner can use some oil or a warm damp rag to apply pressure and that helps.

post #4 of 10

I've also read that it doesn't necessarily prevent tearing but I think we'll give it a try anyway. 


I just bought some Birth and Baby Oil by Motherlove http://www.motherlove.com/product/8102-Birth-and-Baby-Oil.html.  This can be used for perineal massage before and during labor as well as a massage oil for the baby.  Also helps with cradle cap.

post #5 of 10
I'm going to give it a go. Directions below from my midwife if anyone is interested. She says she thinks it helps:

Either you or your partner can do the massage.  The first few times, take a mirror and look at your perineum, so you know what you are doing.  Wash your hands before beginning, make sure your bladder is empty, and position yourself comfortably.  It is probably more comfortable to do the massage after a bath, as this will soften the surrounding tissues.  You can do the massage in several positions – semi-sitting, squatting against a wall, or standing with one foot raised and resting on the bath, toilet or chair.
• The massage should be done 3-4 times a week for a few minutes, beginning 6 weeks before your baby is due
• Lubricate your fingers well with oil (olive/almond).  You need enough to allow your finger to move smoothly over the perineum and lower vaginal wall
• If you are doing he massage yourself, it is probably easiest to use your thumb.  Your partner can use index and middle finger
• Place the fingers/thumb about 2 inches into the vagina (up to the second knuckle)
• Using a sweeping motion with downward pressure, move in a rhythmic movement from 3 o’clock to 9 o’clock and back again.  This movement will stretch the vaginal tissue and the muscles surrounding the vagina
• You can also massage the skin of the perineum between the thumb and forefingers
• As you or your partner perform the massage, apply steady pressure downwards toward the back passage, until you feel a tingling sensation.  This will help you recognise the sensation that you will experience when your baby’s head begins to crown
• Use more oil if required to reduce friction
• Concentrate on relaxing your pelvic floor muscles as you massage
• In the beginning you may feel tight, but with time and practice the tissues will relax and stretch
• This massage should not be painful
post #6 of 10



Thanks for the directions from your midwife! They are very detailed and helpful. On my last visit with my doctor, she actually recommended applying oil and doing the perineal massage. 

post #7 of 10

My midwife told us to do it, but I'm so sore and swollen the thought makes me cringe!  I only had a tiny tear with my first, but she had a larger head and her arm was born first. 

post #8 of 10

So we tried the perineal massage a couple of nights in a row......truth be told, it sucks.  ABNYLON, I'm going to try some of the techniques you mentioned above....I think I need to do it myself.  I actually thought it might end up being a foreplay type thing but....um....no!

post #9 of 10

I'm w/ helenh. My sister raved about it during one of her births & the CNM went ahead & started it while in labor w/ my first. It might be something ok if you practice ahead of time but I distinctly remember yelling at her to get out of me. I do NOT enjoy it & have gotten first degree tears w/ all 3 births, but way up high by my clitoris so I don't think it would have done anything to prevent that anyway..

post #10 of 10
Yeah Helenh, we did it together a couple of times...and I was thinking the same thing...maybe foreplay...husband just had a hugely sad look on his face and then was like 'this is not sexy'...I'm going to start doing it myself...trying to figure out the mechanics of getting around belly to do that.
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