What is a Perineal massage?
Perineal massage is the practice of massaging a pregnant woman’s perineum around the vagina in preparation for childbirth. Perineal massage can be done by the pregnant woman or her partner. You should be in a comfortable place, sitting or reclining that allows you to access the skin around the vagina. It can be done for 10-20 minutes a day during the last 4 to 6 weeks of pregnancy. Typically, perineal massage is done using massage oil or a water-based lubricant, which lubricates the tissue making it softer, more supple and improving is flexibility. The idea is to attempt to prevent tearing of the perineum during birth, the need for an episiotomy or an instrument delivery such as a vacuum or forcep fetal extraction. Clinical trials show that perineal massage is effective in reducing vaginal episitomy’s in about 6 percent of the cases.