Perineal Massage During Pregnancy: Is it Safe?

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Pregnancy can reveal a lot of surprises, which includes knowing about specific body parts. Located between the anus and vagina, the perineum is a muscle that is used heavily at the time of delivery. During childbirth, this muscle suffers heavy damage and is stretched or even torn. There are times when your doctor may have to perform a procedure called an episiotomy. In this procedure, the doctor helps deliver a child by cutting the perineum. The tearing of this muscle is really painful.

A perineum massage is used to help slowly relax the perineum muscle so that it helps increase muscle flexibility and durability. This can help avoid the need to rip the muscle during childbirth. This massage is strongly recommended for women because it speeds up recovery after the delivery. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of perineal massage during pregnancy, and see whether it is safe or not.

In this article:

Benefits of Perineal Massage During Pregnancy
Does it Prevent Tear?
Procedure for Perineal Massage During Pregnancy

A Guide for Perineal Massage During Pregnancy

Benefits of Perineal Massage During Pregnancy

The benefits of the massage are as follows:

  • Increases fluidity in the muscles which helps make childbirth less painful.
  • Known to help the suppleness of the lower cervix region which helps speed up the recovery time after the delivery.
  • The movement of the entire region around the perineum becomes less rigid and helps movement and blood circulation.
  • The tissues in the region become softer and more flexible.
  • It reduces the chances of needing an episiotomy.
  • It definitely decreases the chances for assisted deliveries like the vacuum assisted birthing method.
  • The massage increases the width of the birth canal and decreases the tingling pain during the crowning of the baby. The increased blood flow caused by the massage also helps ease the baby out of the womb ensuring fewer complications.

massaging the perineum

Does it Prevent Tear?

According to a lot of experiences of various people, this massage does help with the prevention of tearing. Massaging the perineum for around a month before the date of delivery, it is believed to stretch the rigid and taut muscles in the region of the anus and vagina. This helps the region develop elasticity, thereby improving the overall chances of preserving the muscle itself. This acts as a preventive measure for tearing during childbirth. The perineal massage also stimulates the region and improve blood flow around the perineum, anus, and vagina. This not only helps the recovery to these regions but also works towards preparing the actual region for the trauma of childbirth.

Always talk to your doctor before attempting the perineal massage. Some pregnancies can be complicated and it is always best to get medical advice before starting with any form of activity that may impact the pregnancy.

Procedure for Perineal Massage During Pregnancy

It is recommended that you perform the massage continuously for a month before the expected due date. Ensure you have someone in the room with you when you begin the massage to assist you in case of any emergency, consult your primary healthcare physician before commencing the massage.

Perform the massage once in the morning and once in the evening for better results, if the massage feels uncomfortable twice in a day then reduce it to once a day. Do not perform the massage if there is excruciating pain or any other side effects that you experience, in this circumstance consult your doctor.

It is well known that prevention is the best form of preparation. Starting the perineum massage and including other activities that help with natural childbirth, like prenatal yoga, is the best way to prevent complications that can be avoided. Pregnancy can be physically traumatic, so always remember to get sufficient rest and talk to your doctor regularly during and after the pregnancy. It is also highly recommended that you perform the massage for the first few times after talking to a specialist to ensure proper form and technique so you don’t hurt yourself or your baby.

Therefore, we finally conclude with the benefits of perineal massage and reach to the conclusion that it is safe as long as it is performed by an expert under safe conditions. You should always remember to communicate with your caregivers and doctors about any sensations that feel unnatural during the massage. If the massage begins to feel different after a while, consult your doctor on if it is okay to continue the perineum massages. It is always important to take precautions during pregnancy, as both you and your baby need to be in good health. Good luck with your pregnancy!

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5718865/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1403252/

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