Friday, January 10, 2014

Perineal Massage How To

I had a few ladies send in emails concerning perineal massage and asked how to do it exactly. Perineal massage is a technique to prepare you for your natural childbirth-and the stretching associated with delivery. It is more-so done to try to prevent tearing during birth or to avoid an episiotomy. From what I hear, if you are going to tear-you will tear-and there is nothing that you can do about that. Then, I also hear that yes, this massage technique does in fact help. 

My personal thoughts?
It's the rate at which you push the head out. If you rapidly push the baby out, yes, you will most likely tear pretty badly. The key is slow, controlled, and steady pushing.

However, it does not hurt to do the massage.

First of all, wash your hands. Then find a private place and sit or lean back in a comfortable position. Put a lubricant such as KY jelly, cocoa butter, olive oil, vitamin E oil or pure vegetable oil on your thumbs and around the perineum.
Place your thumbs about 1 to 11/2 inches (three to four centimeters) inside your vagina. Press downward and to the sides at the same time. Gently and firmly keep stretching until you feel a slight burning, tingling or stinging sensation. With your thumbs, hold the pressure steady for about two minutes or until the area becomes a little numb and you don't feel the tingling as much.
As you keep pressing with your thumbs, slowly and gently massage back and forth over the lower half of your vagina, working the lubricant into the tissues. Keep this up for three to four minutes. Remember to avoid the urinary opening.
As you massage, pull gently outward (and forward) on the lower part of the vagina with your thumbs hooked inside. This helps stretch the skin much in the same way that the baby's head will stretch it during birth.
Do this massage once or twice per day, starting around the 34th week of pregnancy. After about a week, you should notice an increase in flexibility and stretchiness.

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