When pregnant your body begins to get ready for the birth of your baby. Hormones such as progesterone and relaxin, soften your ligaments, muscles, perineum and pelvic floor, so they can stretch.
Studies have shown that over 85% of ladies who have a normal birth suffer from perineal tears as their baby is born.
A Cochrane review of nearly 2,500 women showed that “Antenatal digital perineal massage reduces the likelihood of perineal trauma (mainly episiotomies) and the reporting of on going perineal pain, and is generally well accepted by women. As such, women should be made aware of the likely benefit of perineal massage and provided with information on how to massage”
As an experienced midwife I have found that women are embarrassed to discuss the subject of tearing and this creates another anxiety in pregnancy. Over the years, I have found that pregnant ladies are keen to learn how to decrease tears. They are always willing to give massage ‘a go’ in this sensitive area. Having confidence in their bodies as baby is born is always a big bonus. Knowledge is power.
Less fear – Relax – Natural Birth
THE ADVANTAGES OF PERINEUM MASSAGE
- By getting to know your body you can have more confidence to deliver your baby
- Massage increases the blood flow to the perineum allowing more stretch and less pain, during the birth of your baby
- Helps you to focus on letting your perineum open up. This enables you to have a controlled delivery
- Tears to the perineum are less likely
- Your perineum is less likely to be painful three months after the birth
- Trying this gives peace of mind for both you and your baby
Always use good quality blended oil when you are pregnant. Remember you need to look after yourself and your baby so massage oils should contain NO mineral oils & any other nasties, as oils used on the skin absorb into the skin to increase elasticity. This is particularly important when massaging the perineum.
- Massage the Perineum during pregnancy
- Start from 34 weeks with a good quality natural oil and massage 3-4 times a week
- Use any leftover oil to use as a hand massage, as good quality oils are beneficial for all parts of your body
Pregnant – Please inform your midwife or doctor when you are using complementary therapies.
By Jan Bastard BSc. (Hons) Complementary Therapy/Aromatherapy, RN, RM, Anaesthetic Diploma, IAIM. https://www.motherlylove.co.uk/product/perineum-massage-oil-perineal/