Peri Massage? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 05-20-2009, 02:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Does it really work? Should I bother doing this? My MW briefly showed me how to do it. It seems like there are so many things to do to get ready for birth, and sometimes I wonder if I should just leave my body alone to do it's thing, if the massage would be a waste of time, or just something to make my mind *think* I am "getting ready". Thoughts?

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#2 of 12 Old 05-20-2009, 03:25 PM
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for a first baby, there are some studies that support it is of benefit to do (i'm sorry, but i do not have links for them). however, my midwife is not a big believer of it and thinks it can cause more irritation to the perineal area than benefit. when i had my first, my midwife did discuss it with me, and dh helped me with it, but we were far from consistent and only managed to do it a few times before i gave birth at 37 weeks. i ended up with 2 inner labial "skid marks" that were not bad at all. my perineal floor was perfectly intact and stretched great as dd crowned. i attribute that to my midwife knowing how to support my skin and using hot compresses as it stretched. for this baby, i'm not doing any perienal massage, rather just planning on supporting my skin myself as i stretch to let my baby out, and perhaps using the hot compresses again.
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#3 of 12 Old 05-20-2009, 03:27 PM
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I'm skipping it. Just not my thing. I really should be doing more kegels though!

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#4 of 12 Old 05-20-2009, 03:29 PM
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DH and I just started doing it, although I'm not totally sure we are doing it right. I don't think it's irritating my perineal area, because it doesn't hurt or burn at all after doing it. We are using unrefined virgin coconut oil (the kind that you can use for lube too :-P) and we do five sets of 10 second stretches every night before bed. He's more then happy to help considering that's about all he gets to see of that area lately lol.

Single mama to S ~ 6/09

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#5 of 12 Old 05-20-2009, 03:54 PM
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The evidence (you can look up the support for this on says 2-3 times per week after week 36 is effective. More than this can be irritating and doesn't help any more.

~Amy~ Wife to my best friend Brandon. Mama to my sweet girl Eden (11/6/06) and my little man Theo (6/25/09)
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#6 of 12 Old 05-20-2009, 05:12 PM
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According to my midwife, the only big study done found a decrease in the amount of tearing, etc. only in those women who had been doing it since the FIRST TRIMESTER!! So she didn't recommend it. Thinks it's more a matter of the support, speed of delivery and general health of the mom.
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#7 of 12 Old 05-20-2009, 08:50 PM
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Just common sense wise, I didn't see it doing a whole lot of good so I skipped it the first time and not doing it this time either. My midwife used warm oil and some massage at delivery time as my son was crowning and I'm sure the same will be done this time.

Erin sharing life with a burly husband and two rad boys 7/06 & 5/09 : : Zone 9-ish
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#8 of 12 Old 05-21-2009, 07:03 AM
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My MW suggested that I do it because if I get into positions where he can't see my perineum very well he feels more comfortable knowing that it was worked a bit beforehand...who knows. I didn't do it at all for my first baby and I had no ripping or tearing so I am not super motivated this time around. My MW does want ME to do it and not my husband b/c he wants me to be able to feel the stretching and the area myself so I am more aware of it. In any case, I have the oil and I keep intending to do it but don't get around to it. I would like to do it a few times a week before the baby comes b/c I really don't think it will inhibit anything...
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#9 of 12 Old 05-21-2009, 09:30 AM
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I asked my MW if I should be doing this... she said it has not been proven to make any difference in second/third births - but only in first-time moms. So she didn't really recommend it. She DID say that having sex is GREAT towards the end and does a much better job of getting things ready and stretched out down there My husband was happy to hear that...

Amanda , mama to my two boys: N (10/06) and : A (7/09)
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#10 of 12 Old 05-21-2009, 11:00 AM
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DDC crashing...I did this with my 1st pregnancy almost every day starting at 36 weeks. I used Vitamin E oil and set a stopwatch for 10 minutes b/c it really seems to take forever. Anyway, I ended up with one minor inner labial tear. I heard my OB say to the nurse right after DS was born, "Wow, she stretched really well."

Everything I've read says the effectiveness of massage before birth is debatable. I figured I'd try anything that might give me an easy birth experience. In the end, I was super happy that I took the time to do the massage because DS was born fast (4 pushes) and I had only a minor tear that never bothered me at all.

(Maybe a midwife will provide all the support you'll need anyway, but I didn't have the same confidence in my rotating team of OBs!)

Mommy to a boy (6), girls (4&2), and our baby boy (8 months)

Missing Ashlyn 10/18/06 and Brennan 10/18/10
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#11 of 12 Old 05-24-2009, 02:08 PM
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it has always sounded very unpleasant and awkward to me, so I've never done it. I had a small tear w/ #1, even though he was very slow to decend, so it's not like he flew out and my peri didn't have time to stretch. My mw was kind of stretching/massaging a bit most of the time too. I wonder if prenatal streching would've prevented any of that. But it was so tiny and minimal, who knows. But any tear or "abrasion" from birth hurts for a while, so if you're up for trying it during preg, go for it! My second baby was born really fast, and I didn't tear or anything. She was born in the water so that may have helped. My first was born w/ my on the birthing stool, and there are some that think that they increase the chances of tears. But I wouldn't have birthed any other way. It was a great position for me. And w/ my third I didn't have any problems either and she was a water birth too and my biggest. Who knows!!
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#12 of 12 Old 05-25-2009, 10:41 AM
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We did it with #1 and I did not tear. My mw did stretch me open as I pushed, though. I honestly think it probably does not matter.

I think it is much more important to remember that our bodies are meant to stretch more than enough for a baby. It is our belief that there is no way that we can that makes us tear. For example, how many times have you heard something like "its like trying to push a watermelon out of something the size of an orange." That simply is not true. Truley, it is like trying to push a watermelon out of something the size of a watermelon. If you can remember that, and reall believe it, it helps.
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