Perennial massage anyone? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 01-21-2009, 02:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Has anyone started doing perennial massage? Any thoughts on the subject? DH and I keep meaning to start but seems like it's one of those things that always sounds good to start tomorrow. I'm willing to try it though if it can help prevent tearing.

Cindy

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#2 of 17 Old 01-21-2009, 02:25 AM
 
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Already started, you really should start around 34 weeks. But better late than never.
I have DH do it, you have to be really careful though, make sure he is not being to aggressive. We did massage with my 2nd baby and he was nearly 3 pounds larger than my first and I didn't tear at all. I tore with my first
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#3 of 17 Old 01-21-2009, 02:45 AM
 
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Just an alternative perspective: my midwife says that she thinks that perenneal massage doesn't help and might, in fact, encourage tearing. She said that she has read studies from when midwives were closely monitored and had to turn in very detailed information to the state that those women who did the perenneal massage tore worse and more often than those who did not. She said that nothing can equal the pressure of a baby's head and says that controlled breathing, counter pressure, hot compresses, and olive oil seem to be more productive ways to prevent tearing. She says that she sees more tearing in birthing pools where there is no manual support for the area when the baby's head comes through. Anyway, that is just one opinion, but I thought I would share it.

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#4 of 17 Old 01-21-2009, 03:06 AM
 
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Research on this is really split right now. Some suggest it helps prevent tearing, some suggest it actually makes tearing worse. My MW no longer recommends it, but if you want to experiment a bit so you can get used to the feel of stretching in your vagina, she says go for it.

I did perineal massage before #1 and tore. I didn't do perineal massage with #2 and tore, but the tear was smaller even though the baby was over a pound larger and he shot out in just a few seconds. We'll see what happens with #3, but I'm not doing massage this time either.

Christine, mama to Ava (7.05), Alder (5.07), Sadie (2.09) and #4 due mid-July 2011! 
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#5 of 17 Old 01-21-2009, 03:16 AM
 
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No perineal massage, but YES! to perineal moisturizing. Keep the whole area very well lubricated nightly can definitely help prevent bad tearing. Light massage in the process is fine. But literally trying to stretch it out? Or using medium to heavy massage? Nope. Not good for that delicate skin at all, IMO. It can cause swelling of the area and make it more likely to tear, I think. Very very delicate tissue there. Definitely want to treat it gently, both before birth and during.

So perineal massage is also not good during the pushing stage, but again, lubrication can be very helpful at that point, as can warm compresses (and panting slowly as needed, etc.). I did moisturizing only with last pregnancy, and warm compresses during pushing and tore very very slightly -- upward, in the area I hadn't moisturized! So now I know better -- be sure to focus on the whole area (labia, etc.) not just the perineum. Tears can occur to the side and upwards too, so it's important not to forget those bits.

I use this:

Indian Meadows Vaginal Balm

And have some of this as well (tester -- it's expensive and a bit messier):

Earth Mama Angel Baby Stretch Oil

I just apply the vaginal balm nightly before bed, generously.

SAHM to Guinevere (04/05/06) and Eowyn (02/13/09)
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#6 of 17 Old 01-21-2009, 04:08 AM
 
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Haha, DDC-crashing because the title of this thread on the main page totally captivated me...


I thought it was "perennial" http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/perennial massage.... my immediate reaction: "Yes please, where do I sign up for THAT?!?!"

Kelly (28), in love with husband Jason (38) and our awesome babies:  Emma 4/09, and Ozzy 8/10

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#7 of 17 Old 01-21-2009, 04:50 AM
 
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For perineal moisturizing is Vit E ok to use? Also, I have a lot of discharge and am moist/wet pretty often, would that "wash away" the oil?
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#8 of 17 Old 01-21-2009, 06:52 AM
 
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I'm so glad to read all these posts!

Didn't do it last time and had a bad tear. Son's hand came out w/his head, so I don't think streatching was going to stop it! Plus, I was scared, and I pushed when I shouldn't have.

I'm not doing PM this time either. I'm hoping that because I know what to expect, and what I'm capable of, I'm going to listen to my body, not my brain! Hopefully, that will prevent tearing, at least really bad tearing.

Tracy
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#9 of 17 Old 01-21-2009, 12:06 PM
 
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My last MW did a combo, she had dh and I do massage in the weeks before, and then she did support, compresses while ds2 was crowning. She did not massage while I was in labor.
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#10 of 17 Old 01-21-2009, 12:47 PM
 
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My OB did the PM as the baby was crowning. I only had a small tear, I think due to my regular EPO use more than the PM.
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#11 of 17 Old 01-21-2009, 01:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kssinca View Post
For perineal moisturizing is Vit E ok to use? Also, I have a lot of discharge and am moist/wet pretty often, would that "wash away" the oil?
That is what I use...

Jen - Mama to V (b. 2-18-09) and AJ (b. 10-9-11) Wife to DH

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#12 of 17 Old 01-21-2009, 03:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly1101 View Post
I thought it was "perennial" http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/perennial massage.... my immediate reaction: "Yes please, where do I sign up for THAT?!?!"
Ditto that
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#13 of 17 Old 01-21-2009, 03:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh haha - pardon my spelling error. Wishful thinking on my part - or just pregnancy brain.

DH tried the massage for the first time last night. I got a good laugh over a few things. It was an interesting feeling and probably good to experience prior to labor. I think we will try and keep it up - things are awfully tight right now. I do recall being told that the verdict is out but I suppose it can't hurt as long as we are gentle. I didn't think about the potential of being sore or swollen and then going into labor!

Cindy

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#14 of 17 Old 01-22-2009, 11:57 PM
 
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Our CNM stated that massage can be irritating, and make the area more vulnerable. better to moisturize.Which I need to do...
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#15 of 17 Old 01-23-2009, 12:14 AM
 
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My bradley instructor elevated the benefit of getting used to the pressure and learning to relax through it, above the actual stretching of the perineum. I think we'll do it some so I can get a feel for that feeling and practice relaxing during it, but not excessively to affect the skin.

Alicia, wife to an loving and faithful DH, and mama to three fantastic though nutty children (cs, then an HBAC, then a VBAC!!).
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#16 of 17 Old 01-23-2009, 03:09 AM
 
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I think it's probably pointless & possibly harmful. I think controlling your pushing & not doing purple pushing, allowing the tissues time to stretch as the baby's head crowns, is way more important.

mom to all boys B: 08/01ribboncesarean.gif,  C: 07/05 uc.jpg, N: 03/09 uc.jpg, M: 01/12 uc.jpg and far too many lost onesintactlact.gifsaynovax.gif

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#17 of 17 Old 01-23-2009, 06:27 AM
 
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nope, am not and never have. this is my third. the first i was a tad swollen and the doc ripped me thinking she was being funny. the second, no pain, no nothing and no tears.
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