Tuesday, June 14, 2011 Perineal Massage...yes, I'm a fan! When I tell my clients about their "homework," perineal massage is high on the list. I swear by it and the olive oil that comes with it. I believe it is best achieved by the partner.
Olive oil not your thing? How about almond oil, coconut oil (smells yummy!), or evening primrose oil.
Coat 2 fingers with the oil.
Insert 2 fingers into vagina up to knuckles.
Press and hold down for 15 seconds.
Widen and hold for 15 seconds.
Create a "U" shape back and forth for 3-5 (5 is better!!) minutes.
At least once a day, or every other day beginning from 36 weeks.
Why do this?
The stretching combined with the oil, will make your perineum soft and pliable. This is the area that needs to stretch while pushing. This helps avoid tears and episotomies.
It also helps you practice your breathing and staying relaxed, that will come in handy during labor.
I believe, when done on a regular basis, by your partner, it greatly reduces your likelihood of tearing.
**Perineal massage should be done prior to labor, this is different then having your care provider do it during the pushing stage.
I know it doesn't sound fun...but I truly believe in it!
I am a certified birth doula in the central New York area. I am a founder of the CNY Doula Connection. I also offer postpartum care, childbirth education classes and trainings, lactation support, belly binding, and placenta encapsulation and training in the greater Syracuse area.