perineum is the muscle and tissue between the anus and
vulva. During childbirth, the perineum stretches and
sometimes tears. One way to help prevent tearing is to stretch and massage the
perineum for a few weeks before your due date.
Studies show that
women who did regular perineal massage reported less perineal pain in the weeks
after childbirth. Women having their first vaginal delivery also had lower
Starting at week 34 of
your pregnancy, take about 5 minutes to massage your perineum, three to four
times a week. The goal is to get the muscle and tissue used to stretching. At
first, it may burn and feel uncomfortable. But this will get better after a few
Beckmann MM, Garrett AJ (2006). Antenatal perineal
massage for reducing perineal trauma. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (1).
November 2, 2011
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
& Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
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