Mdo perineal massage regularly in the last trimester of pregnancy until it's time to give birth can make maternal birth canal muscles pregnant become more flexible. Therefore, risk happening tearing of the birth canal during delivery will also be lower.
As the name implies, perineal massage is a massage performed on the perineum, which is the area between the vagina and anus. Perineal massage can help the muscles of the perineum and birth canal become more elastic and strong, so there is a lower risk of tearing the birth canal during labor.
To do it at home, pregnant women can massage their own perineum or ask their husband to do it. If necessary, pregnant women can also ask the midwife to do perineal massage.
Safe and Beneficial for Healthy Pregnancy
Perineal massage is recommended to be started when the gestational age is approaching the predicted time of delivery, which is about 3-4 weeks before delivery. According to research, pregnant women who regularly massage their perineum are less likely to need an episiotomy during delivery and have a lower risk of perineal tears.
Perineal massage is considered safe for healthy or low-risk pregnancies. However, that does not mean all pregnant women can undergo and perform perineal massage. This massage is not recommended for pregnant women who suffer from vaginal bleeding, herpes in the intimate organs, or have sores on the vagina and perineum.
Discomfort and pain may be felt the first time you do a perineal massage. However, over time the discomfort will decrease if the perineal massage is done regularly every day for a few weeks until delivery.
How to do a perineal massage
Perineal massage does not require special tools and is easy to perform. Pregnant women only need to spend about 5 minutes every day to do a perineal massage. Here are the steps:
- Before pregnant women start doing massage, wash their hands first. Also make sure the pregnant woman's fingernails have been cut and are not too long so as not to injure the perineum when massaged.
- Choose the most comfortable position. Pregnant women can do perineal massage in a sitting, lying, or standing position by placing one foot on a chair. When massaging the perineum, pregnant women can also add a warm compress to help relax the perineal muscles.
- Rub your fingers with an oil that is gentle to the skin, such as vitamin E oil, baby oil, or olive oil, then position your thumb about 2-3 cm inside the vagina. If the massage oil is not available, pregnant women can use a water-based condom lubricant.
- With that finger, gently press the inside of the vagina towards the anus and the sides of the vagina. Initially, pregnant women may feel a tingling sensation and a little pain. However, if you are used to doing it, the pain will decrease when the perineal massage is done.
- Do this movement for 2 minutes, but if it feels very painful or uncomfortable, stop immediately.
- After that, do a gentle massage in the shape of a U on the lower vaginal area. Just do this movement for 1 minute. If you are getting used to perineal massage, pregnant women can do it for up to 5 minutes.
Perineal massage is not difficult to do. If pregnant women are still confused or do not understand how to massage the perineum properly, try to consult further with a gynecologist or midwife.
In addition to telling how to do the right perineal massage, the doctor can also explain what efforts can be made to speed up the delivery process for pregnant women later.