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What Are the Benefits of Perineal Massage
Perineal massages are very beneficial for mothers-to-be. Perineal massages can be given during the last few weeks of pregnancy. This helps the body prepare better for childbirth. Perineal massages are given by gently rubbing and stretching the perineal area.
The massage encourages elasticity in the tissues of the lower areas of cervix. Stretching helps relax the area making childbirth relatively comfortable.
Perineum is the piece of skin between the vagina and the anus. A pregnant woman can learn to do perineal massage herself or she can request someone else to do this for her. Perineal massages prove advantageous during labor.
Massaging the perineum greatly reduces the chances of vaginal tearing and calling for episiotomy. Massaging prepares the perineal area for stretching and application of pressure. Hence there are less chances of the perineum tearing during childbirth. Perineal massages also cut down on the possibility of doing episiotomy during labor.
Episiotomy is a surgical procedure done before childbirth to make a cut from the vagina to the perineal area. However, the choice of performing episiotomy is a last minute decision that is made by the person in attendance depending on the progress being made.
The mother-to-be gets comfortable and accustomed to the nerves in the perineum during massages. Preparing the perineal area for childbirth also helps relax the expectant mother during labor which makes childbirth easier and faster.
Incontinence and painful sex are some of the common complains associated with episiotomy or a natural perineal tear. Perineal massage helps prevent these common problems by preparing the area for hard and vigorous labor.
Before you perform a perineal massage it is important to wash your hands properly using soap. Otherwise both mother and the baby will be at a risk of bacterial infection. Sit up straight with your legs bended. You can use vitamin E oil, olive oil or KY jelly for the massage. Apply the oil on the perineum and both the thumbs.
Insert the thumbs one inch into the vagina. Lightly press against the sides of the vagina as well as downwards. This is the correct stretching motion. Initially one will experience a slight burning feeling. Continue with the massage till the sensation goes away.
Keep the thumbs inside the vagina and tug at the perineum making it move forward and outward. The movement helps distend the perineum tissues much like crowning would.