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perineal massage for second time moms

1359 Views 9 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  EmmaJean
Does anyone know if this is really necessary?

My midwife encourages perineal massage starting 4 wks before your edd for everyone. We did it with dd and had a good outcome (no tears, just a small skidmark) but it was really no fun. We should have started already for this babe, but totally forgot. It seems to me that the fact that an 8 pound baby passed through my vagina 2 1/2 yrs ago is proof enough that I'll be able to stretch without prior preparation, but I don't know... I don't want to risk tearing if there is a way I can prevent it.

peace, Beth
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I did not do it last time and therefor think maybe I should this time. I was given an unnecassary slice, though, so I'm afraid of opening that back up. But, as I say, the cut was unnecassary, so I don't really think you have to do the massage. I think that what you have to do is believe that something that big will, in fact, make it's way out of that opening, and then you'll be fine. Don't stress it, just surrender to the power of your body.
Beth, I think listening to our bodies is the most important thing. So, I can't really answer whether or not you should do it. But, I can tell you that I plan on doing PM again for this pregnancy. I easily pushed out my 7# posterior compound presentation baby last time. I think staying relaxed and PM helped me. You never know if you're going to have a babe that isn't going to turn or a compound presentation.

That said, I really enjoyed PM. Here is how my husband and I made it relaxing, sexy
and fun -- A couple times a week my husband would heat up warm olive oil while I relaxed on the floor or in bed on top of some thick old towels listening to relaxing music. He would do the massage in the kindest and gentlest of ways. When he was done with my perenium, he would use some of the extra warm oil to massage my legs or my belly or shoulders. It became our little hiatus from the stresses of the last weeks of pregnancy and a time to reconnect.

So, you can see-- planning on doing PM again for us, is a no brainer -- we liked it, we're good at it and we think it helped Jude's birth. but, I think your body/heart will steer you in the right direction.

Best wishes! I'm so looking forward to reading your great birth story in a few weeks! Peace!
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I actually am not a believer in PM. THough I agree w/Sparklin's viewpoint--if you want to, do it. I didn't like it during birth in particular and felt it interfered w/my feelings of privacy, so therefore interfered w/my birth.
I could go on and on but just wanted to add an opposing view. It doesn't appeal to me and actually goes against my sensibilities in birth. I feel like the body is meant to birth and the best way to prepare is NOT to do anything like this, KWIM?
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Indigo -- ewww during birth. Oh, I would soooooooo not like that.
(of course I only asked to be checked for dialation one time. I just not into poking around during labor) That does not sound like fun at all. Gosh, the midwife did that? Ok, see now, my husband doing PM is like a cool sexy thing for me. A midwife doing it would be like... a vaginal exam?!?! Ugh. That said our midwife did show my DH how to do it, but she never did it again after that. And, my husband had much more of a flair for it than she ever did!
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I had no tears, rips, cuts or anything with ds and we didn't do any sort of pm. Of course, he was only 6lbs, 6oz and had a 15.75 inch head, but still, the thought of it kind of creeped me out. The mw did put warm washcloths on my perineum during pushing (all 20 minutes of it!) and that felt GREAT!!!

Sparklin, what you did sounds like a great way to re-connect at the end of the day/prepare for birth, since we're hoping for a homebirth next time (a long time from now) I'm printing it out and putting it in my "next birth" file.
My experience, with ds we didn't do it, we tried, it hurt, the midwife said there was really no point before pushing anyway so we didn't do it, she and dh did a small amount during the last few pushes, no tearing skid marks nothing, he was 7 lbs 1 oz.

Fast forward to dd, we didn't do it, didn't see the point, I ended up with a first degree tear, why, she was 7lbs 15oz, but the big thing was she was posterior, and really came out in 2 pushes, well it was nearly 40 minutes of pushing with nothing happening and then all of the sudden "pop" out she came, I think the fact that she didn't come out slowly was the biggest factor, and that was presentation. Would PM have helped I don't know, with her I was in the tub, the midwife tried a bit of support/massage, but I pushed her away. Who knows what if anything could have prevented the tear.

Go with your gut, and do what you feel is best.
I'm going to be doing it at home in the last month or so before I have the baby (assuming baby will be full term!). Doctor also did it during labor and I was not going to tear, he said. Then I had a cut because dd's heartrate fell and didn't come back up so they had to get her out fast.

I'm def. doing them again *because* I got cut last time. I want to make sure that scar tissue will stretch as much as possible and not cause a tear.

I did a little bit of perineal massage with dd. She was 8lb 9 oz, and I ended up with what my midwife likened to a "skinned knee." I did not do it at all with ds. He was 8lb 15oz. I did not even have a skidmark.

For me/us, it just wasn't comfortable (although we weren't as creative as Sparklin!).

My midwife used hot compresses and olive oil during both births (but not PM). ahhhhhhhhh. . now THAT was awesome.
hey, why didn't I get hot compresses?? That sounds soooo nice! The mw supported my perineum during pushing (which felt to me like she was inside, stretching me, for some reason--but I have the video and it's just support!
) Anyway, she supported with gauze that had special oil on it. OK, this time, I'm getting the hot towels, b/c I would just LOVE that!!! Actually, I hope to birth in the pool this time, so we'll see what happens.

And I'm interested in PM, but my dh isn't the best at massage and I think we'd probably just laugh the whole time! But I think we should give it a try sometime!!
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