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Doing perineal massage regularly in the last trimester of pregnancy until it's time to give birth can make the muscles of the birth canal of pregnant women more flexible. That way, the risk of a tear in the birth canal during delivery will be lower
As the name implies, perineal massage is a massage performed on the perineum, which is the area between the vagina and anus. Perineal massage can help the muscles of the perineum and birth canal become more elastic and strong, so there is a lower risk of tearing the birth canal during labor.
To do it at home, pregnant women can massage the perineum themselves or ask their husbands to do it. If necessary, pregnant women can also ask the midwife to do perineal massage.
Safe and Useful for He althy Pregnancy
Perineal massage is recommended to start when the gestational age is approaching the predicted time of delivery, which is about 3-4 weeks before delivery. According to research, pregnant women who regularly massage their perineum are less likely to need an episiotomy during delivery and have a lower risk of perineal tears.
Perineal massage is considered safe for he althy or low-risk pregnancies. However, that does not mean all pregnant women can undergo and perform perineal massage. This massage is not recommended for pregnant women who suffer from vaginal bleeding, herpes in the intimate organs, or have sores on the vagina and perineum.
Discomfort and pain may be felt the first time you do a perineal massage. However, over time the discomfort will decrease if the perineal massage is done regularly every day for a few weeks until delivery.
How To Do Perineal Massage
Perineal massage does not require special tools and is easy to do. Pregnant women only need to spend about 5 minutes every day to do a perineal massage. Here are the steps:
- Before pregnant women start doing massage, wash their hands first. Also make sure the pregnant woman's fingernails are cut and not too long so as not to injure the perineum when massaged.
- Choose the most comfortable position. Pregnant women can do perineal massage in a sitting, lying, or standing position by placing one foot on a chair. Pregnant women can also add a warm compress to help relax the perineal muscles.
- Rub your finger with an oil that is gentle on the skin, such as vitamin E oil, baby oil, or olive oil, then position your thumb about 2-3 cm inside the vagina. If the massage oil is not available, pregnant women can use a water-based condom lubricant.
- With that finger, gently press the inside of the vagina towards the anus and the side of the vagina. Initially, pregnant women may feel a tingling sensation and a little pain. However, if you are used to doing it, the pain will decrease when the perineal massage is done.
- Do this exercise for 2 minutes, but if it is very painful or uncomfortable, stop immediately.
- After that, do a gentle massage in the shape of a U on the lower vaginal area. Just do this movement for 1 minute. If you are getting used to perineal massage, pregnant women can do it for up to 5 minutes.
Perineal massage can help the delivery process run more smoothly. So, it's a shame if pregnant women don't take advantage of it. If pregnant women are still confused or do not understand how to massage the perineum properly, try to consult further with a doctor or midwife.