Perineal massage shouldn’t hurt, though you may feel pressure in the first few weeks of starting, which should ease. Avoid perineal massage if you have vaginal herpes, thrush or a vaginal infection (Oxford University NHS Trust, 2017).
Why is perineal massage painful?
To experience any of the potential benefits, you should do perineal massage regularly for the last four to six weeks of pregnancy. Massaging too hard can boost blood flow to an area that’s already engorged with blood, which can increase inflammation and lead to irritation, discomfort and pain.
Does perineal massage get easier?
The process is the same, although he may find it easier to use his fingers, rather than his thumbs. After you’ve been doing perineal massage for a few weeks, you may notice the skin and muscles around your vaginal opening becoming looser.
Should I massage my perineum?
Research has shown that massaging your perineum (the area between your vagina and back passage) from approximately 34 weeks pregnant can reduce the chance of you sustaining a tear that requires stitches. It can also reduce the need for an episiotomy (a small cut into the perineum).
How many times a week should I massage my perineum?
perineal massage is not easy, but preparing your perineum will stretch those muscles and give you the best chance of having a better birth experience. It is recommended to start perineal massage from 34 weeks pregnant, doing it 3-4 times a week, for around 3 or 4 minutes at a time.
How do you give yourself a perineal massage?
How to do perineal massage
- Sit with your legs apart and your back supported. …
- Put some massage oil on your fingers. …
- Place a thumb or finger about 5 cm (2 in.) …
- Still pressing and stretching outward, sweep down to 6 o’clock and over to 9 o’clock.
- Repeat for a total of 4 or 5 minutes.
How long should I do perineal massage?
Typically, women are taught to spend about 10 minutes per day doing perineal massage, starting at about 34-35 weeks of pregnancy. Women are taught to insert 1-2 lubricated fingers about 2 inches into the vagina and apply pressure, first downward for 2 minutes, and then sideways for 2 minutes.
Does perineal massage help?
Women who performed perineal massage starting between 34-36 weeks of pregnancy experienced a small reduction in the likelihood of perineal trauma and ongoing perineal pain (1). The most significant benefit noted was a decrease in episiotomy rates among women who did perineal massage.
When should I start massaging my perineum?
“Perineal massage aims to stretch, usually using two fingers, the perineal tissues ready for birth.” You can start practising perineal massage from 34 weeks of pregnancy onwards or for the last four to six weeks of it.
What oil is best for perineal massage?
Oils to use for perineal massage
- natural oils, like organic sunflower, grapeseed, coconut, almond, or olive.
- personal lubricants, like K-Y Jelly, are also a good choice because they’re water soluble.
- your body’s own vaginal lubricant, if this makes you more comfortable.
How do you stop perineal tears?
From 35 weeks onwards, you or your partner can use daily perineal massage until your baby is born which may reduce your risk of tearing.
Perineal massage tips
- Warm bath. Sit in a warm bath before you start. …
- Short nails. …
- Comfortable position. …
- Lubricant. …
- Thumbs. …
- Gentle massage. …
- Repeat daily or when possible.
How can I soften my perineum?
Perineal massage lengthens and softens the tissues of the perineum. You can start this at 35 weeks of pregnancy. Perform this massage technique for 10 minutes once a day. Take a warm bath or hold a warm compress on the perineum for 10 minutes to help you relax before the massage.
What is a perineal?
Your perineum is the area between your vaginal opening and back passage (anus). It is common for the perineum to tear to some extent during childbirth. Tears can also occur inside the vagina or other parts of the vulva, including the labia.