It is recommended to start performing perineal massage around the 34th week of pregnancy, about three to four times a week, for approximately three to four minutes at a time.
Here’s how to do a perineal massage:
First, find a perineal massage oil. This can be a preparation specifically designed for perineal massage or an oil such as sweet almond oil.
Wash your hands.
Sit comfortably, bring your knees together, and point them towards your chest.
Open your knees like a book (you may find it easier to place one foot on the toilet, bathtub, or a seat in a similar way to when inserting a tampon).
Apply a small amount of massage oil to your perineum to make the massage more comfortable.
Insert your thumbs into your vagina, then place your index fingers on the skin of your perineum.
Now gently stretch this skin by pressing downward towards your anus and to the sides until you feel a slight burning and stretching sensation.
Hold the stretch for 1 to 2 minutes.
Next, massage the area between your thumb and fingers in an upward, outward, and backward “U” shape.
As your pregnancy progresses, it may be easier to have your partner perform the massage for you.
Perineal massage should not be painful, and with time and practice, you will become more comfortable with it.
Perineal massage is a technique recommended for pregnant women, typically starting around the 34th week of pregnancy. It involves gentle stretching and massaging of the perineal area, which is the area between the vagina and the anus. The purpose of perineal massage is to increase the flexibility and elasticity of the tissues in preparation for childbirth, potentially reducing the risk of perineal tearing or the need for an episiotomy.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to perform perineal massage:
- Choose a suitable massage oil: Select a perineal massage oil specifically designed for this purpose, or you can use a natural oil such as sweet almond oil or olive oil.
- Wash your hands: It’s important to have clean hands before starting the massage to maintain proper hygiene.
- Find a comfortable position: Sit in a relaxed and comfortable position, such as leaning back against a pillow or sitting on the edge of a chair with your legs apart.
- Relax your muscles: Take a few deep breaths and consciously relax your pelvic floor muscles. Tension can make the massage more difficult and uncomfortable.
- Apply the oil: Put a small amount of oil on your fingers and apply it to the perineal area, covering the perineum and the entrance of the vagina.
- Insert your thumbs: Insert your thumbs into the vagina, gently pressing against the lower part of the vaginal wall.
- Apply gentle pressure: With your thumbs inside the vagina, press downwards and sideways towards the rectum. You should feel a slight stretching and burning sensation, but it should not be painful. If you experience any discomfort, reduce the pressure or stop the massage.
- Move your thumbs in a U-shaped motion: While maintaining the gentle pressure, slowly and smoothly sweep your thumbs in a U-shaped motion, moving from the bottom towards the sides of the vagina. This motion helps to stretch and relax the perineal tissues.
- Continue for a few minutes: Massage the area for about three to four minutes, focusing on gradually increasing the stretch and flexibility of the perineum.
- Repeat regularly: Aim to perform perineal massage three to four times per week, gradually increasing the duration as you approach your due date.
Remember, perineal massage should always be done gently and comfortably. If you experience any pain or discomfort, it’s important to stop and consult with your healthcare provider. The goal is to prepare your body for childbirth and promote the flexibility of the perineal area, but it’s always best to follow professional guidance and seek advice from your healthcare provider during pregnancy.