The perineal massage is a procedure that midwives already used in ancient times during delivery. Today its use is recommended in primiparous and from week 35 of gestation. Scientific studies claim that this is a valid method to reduce the number of tears or episiotomies.
As I stepped forward in the article on pregnancy and pelvic floor during pregnancy the female perineum must adapt to the transformations of this period, reaching its climax the day of delivery. It is therefore important to be aware of the perineal muscles, massage it and loosen it during pregnancy. Also, it is advisable postpartum continued perineal care, in order to restore the functionality of all of its structures.
The perineal massage can begin to take place from the 35th week . It is a simple procedure that will be preparing the muscles and tissues around your vagina to facilitate passage of the baby’s head and to limit or reduce the risk of episiotomy or tear of these muscles during childbirth.
Also, the perineal massage will help you prepare for the sensations of pressure and stretching that accompany the decline of the baby’s head through the birth canal. Knowing these sensations will be easier to relax instead of tensing the muscles, so that you favor childbirth.
Before you begin, how’s your perineal muscles?
It may be that your perineal muscles are more toned than normal or, on the contrary, present a tone lower than normal. It is important to know what the status of your muscles and for this, it is best to consult a specialist for you to perform a perineal assessment no later than the sixth month of pregnancy.
Thus, if your perineum has more tone than normal perineal massage is further indicated, and is convenient to learn to relax to facilitate passage of the baby. If your perineum is hypotonic, it would be to learn how to strengthen it by prenatal reeducation.
Whatever your situation, you should make awareness exercises pelvic floor and perineum deep tone with a twofold objective: to prepare the muscles for childbirth and prevent possible complications that may arise in the postpartum period.
The perineal massage, step by step
Before you begin, one of the most important factors for a good perineal massage is find the right time and a nice quiet place where you will find comfortable and relaxed , and where, for the duration of the massage, nothing no one to interrupt. This is a time for you to take care to prepare your body for the baby’s arrival.
Achieved this, always remember three basic rules: clean hands, nails trimmed and genital hygiene in order to minimize infection.
As for the position , choose the one you are most comfortable. You can massage foot (with a high leg on a chair), sitting in gynecological position on a cushion (although as pregnancy progresses and you increase volume, you will find it difficult to access the perineal area while sitting) or lying with legs apart. The first few times, if you need, you can help a mirror to better locate the vagina and perineum.
Finally, you have to choose a vegetable oil that hydrates and very nutritious While the vaginal mucosa. The most suitable are those that take calendula, evening primrose oil, aloe vera, rosehip and avocado. Choose the one you like. In herbalists, pharmacies and drugstores you will find them easily.
Two types of perineal massage
The perineal massage consists of two phases:
External perineal massage : soft unmovimiento is carried out in the space between the vagina and anus. Using your thumbs, massage the outer area of the vagina with semicircular movements up and down to activate the circulation of that area.
Internal perineal massage : massage involves the vaginal walls trying to relax and stretch the muscles. To do this, enter your thumbs into your vagina about 4 cm. and performs a movement from right to left, trying to stretch the area such as opening the outlet until you feel a tingle. It is what you feel when your baby’s head try out. Imagine inside the vagina are the cardinal points (north, south, east and west). The idea is to massage the output of the vagina, while stretch with your thumbs as a hook to the side and out U-shaped, first to the south, toward the anus, and then to the east and the west. Try not to do northward, where the urethra is, you could suffer risk of infection.
- Massage for 5-10 minutes each day from week 35.
- The first few times you may find it strange sensation upon stretching massage, but this impression disappears after a few days practicing.
- The perineal massage is counterproductive for the baby and you will report many benefits, including increasing awareness of your own body and your feelings, something that certainly will help you cope with childbirth in a more relaxed way.
- In any case, if you feel pain or are bothersome, stop the massage and try another time and if the pain or discomfort persists, check with your specialist.