During the third trimester of pregnancy expectant mothers are advised to perform perineal massage which is believed to reduce the risk of vaginal tears during childbirth.
Perineal massage in the third trimester of pregnancy
Pregnant women are recommended to perform perineal massage in the 34th week or third trimester. Where is the perineum? The tissue area between the opening of the vagina and the anus. The reproductive organs are the bowels and the bladder which are located in the muscles that support the pelvic floor. Usually the purpose of perineal massage is to stretch and manipulate the perineal tissue with 1 or 2 fingers. The goal is to prepare the tissue in that area to make room for the babys head and body so that the vagina can stretch during labor.
This massage can be done alone or with the help of a partner.
The benefits of perineal massage
It is estimated that approximately 40 to 80% of women will experience vaginal tears as a result of a normal birth.
About ⅔ of them need stitches.
Damage to the perineum can cause problems with the pelvic floor, such as urinary incontinence , uterine prolapse or sexual discomfort.
Here are some of the benefits of doing this massage in the third trimester of pregnancy, such as:
- Prepare the tissue. Perineal massage can increase blood flow and help tissues and skin stretch easily with less pain during childbirth
- Reduces the risk of tearing . 1 in 15 women who regularly perform this massage do not need an episiotomy or have a vaginal tear that needs stitches
- Lowers the risk of being stitched . While massage may not prevent tears, it is said to reduce the need for stitches by up to 10%. This means that the massage helps reduce the risk of severe tears
- Prepare yourself for the birth of a child . This sequence allows you to focus and understand the sensations that may be experienced when giving birth later. It helps physically and mentally
Based on the study, researchers found that women who perform massage on this part of the perineum, during the labor phase to strain , will have a lower risk of third and fourth degree tears .
If you have any concerns or doubts, get a doctor’s consultation before performing a massage on this part of the perineum.