How to do perineal massage

Perineal massage is a method performed to relax and soften the perineum, the area between the vagina and the rectum. This practice is most often undertaken during the final six weeks of pregnancy, in order to alleviate tears to the perineum during childbirth and help prepare for the sensations experienced during childbirth.

Perineal massage involves stretching the muscles between your vagina and your bottom (perineum) during pregnancy, to prepare for giving birth. This will help the opening of your vagina to stretch more easily as your baby is born.

If you’ve never given birth vaginally before, massaging your perineum towards the end of your pregnancy can reduce your risk of episiotomy. It may also reduce your risk of having a tear. Even if you have had a baby before, perineal massage can help to reduce discomfort after the birth.

Start perineal massage when you are 34 weeks pregnant and aim to do it at least once a week or twice a week.

Perineal massage should focus on the inside of your vagina, though you may still feel the skin on the outside stretching.

Here’s how to do a perineal massage:

  1. Choose a comfortable position. This could be sitting or lying down, or you could try standing with one foot on a chair. You could even try doing the massage in the bath or shower, where the warm water will help to soften your perineum.
  2. Make sure your hands are clean and your nails are trimmed
  3. Use a lubricant such as olive oil/sweet almond oil to your hands and the perineal area.
  4. Place a thumb or two fingers 3cm into the vagina (half your thumb).
  5. Massage the area by gently rubbing the perineal tissues between your thumb and fingers.
  6. Press downwards and to the sides, gently stretching until you feel a tingling sensation. The feeling lessens after a few moments.
  7. Once this sensation is felt, hold the stretch for around one minute, until the feeling subsides and begin gently massaging the lower part of the vagina by moving your thumb back and forth. While massaging also hook your thumb onto the sides of the vagina and gently pull these tissues forward, as your baby’s head does, when they are being born.
  8. Continue to gently rub as you stretch for around 3-4 minutes.

Discontinue if you feel pain.

When you’re heavily pregnant, it can be difficult to do perineal massage yourself. If your partner is willing, he can do it for you. The process is the same, although he may find it easier to use his index fingers, rather than his thumbs.

The important thing is to find a routine that works for you and stick to it. Perineal massage shouldn’t hurt, though it may feel a bit uncomfortable, particularly at first. After you’ve been doing it for a few weeks, you may notice the skin and muscles around your vaginal opening becoming looser. This is a great sign that perineal massage is working.

About Magical Baby Moments

Magical Baby Moments offers group hypnobirthing courses in Romford and private courses across Essex and London. Check online at www.magicalbabymoments.com/classes to find out upcoming dates.

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Be informed and prepared for your baby’s birth

So if you’re expecting a baby, you have no doubt been excited throughout your pregnancy.  As the labour looms ever-closer, perhaps that excitement is fading and other feelings are creeping in as the unknown of that big day rears its head.

For many first-time mums, friends and family members will fill their heads with negative aspects of the birthing experience and they will use words like ‘pain’, ‘trauma’ to talk about their births, as well as describe the menu of pain-relief options that they needed to ‘get through it’. All of this is extremely damaging to the mum-to-be.

Let’s ask ourselves a quick question. Why do all other animals cope so well with birth (without medical assistance) but us mere mortals just aren’t able to? Or can we? Is it just the mindset that we have conditioned ourselves to think that is the barrier to us being able to enjoy and celebrate birth as an exciting and empowering experience?

In recent years, women are seeking out hypnobirthing courses, as a full antenatal preparation class, which not only teaches them the physical side of what is happening to the body during labour, but also teaches them tools and techniques to manage labour more efficiently and calmly. They believe that there must be more to us and that we should be more aligned with our friends in the animal kingdom.

So what is hypnobirthing?

Hypnobirthing is a tried and tested method that prepares a woman in giving birth in a peaceful and natural way, often without the need for medical intervention. Women who hypnobirth learn special breathing techniques, relaxation, visualisation and meditative practice that help them stay relaxed in labour, and as a result tend to have an easier and shorter labour. They learn to trust in nature and trust in their bodies.

Why should you choose hypnobirthing for your baby’s birth?

Women who use hypnobirthing during labour found that hypnobirthing encourages the birth experience to be natural, calm and comfortable. It often allows the mother to feel more alert and in control, as well as giving them the tools to manage the intensity of labour. This often results in not needing the level of pain-relief that she had anticipated and in some cases they don’t need any at all.

Hypnobirthing classes also help teach the birthing partner to be actively involved and reinforces the important role that they have in the birth, both supporting mum and protecting their baby.

Used correctly, the hypnobirthing breathing, visualisation and relaxation techniques lessens the physical impact of childbirth, as the techniques encourage the mother to work with her body gently – this often results in shorter labours. All of this combined, potentially allows the baby to be born in a calm, gentle and drug-free atmosphere,

Magical Baby Moments Group Hypnobirthing Course JulyWhat to expect in a hypnobirthing class:

You will come away understanding how the body and mind work together; appreciating that the mind is much more powerful than we realise. You will also be taught:

  • Self-hypnosis – to help you to induce deep relaxation
  • Fear release methods – to allow you to be relaxed and confident for the birth
  • Massage techniques – to stimulate endorphins, your body’s natural pain-killer
  • Visualisation exercises – to keep you grounded, calm and positive
  • Positions for labour and birth – staying in an upright position can help to shorten the length of your labour

The ideal time to start classes is anytime after 20 weeks of pregnancy. This will allow you ample time to practise. If you’re already past this stage, don’t be put off. You can still benefit from classes in your last weeks of pregnancy as the techniques are simple to understand and easy to practice.

Magical Baby Moments is based in Romford, Essex and offers regular group courses or private classes to couples every month. To find out more visit www.magicalbabymoments.com or call Christine on 07764 680 215.

Hypnobirthing weekend course in May

PLACES AVAILABLE FOR 7 & 8 MAY
Wanting a positive and relaxed birth? Don’t miss out on the upcoming weekend course.

Magical Baby Moments Group Hypnobirthing Course – 7 & 8 May, Romford, Essex.

Learn how to:
⭐️Release fear and tension – to avoid pain and intervention

⭐️⭐️ Learn to instantly switch off outside distractions – to induce deep relaxation

⭐️⭐️⭐️Use visualisation exercises and affirmations – to keep you confident, calm and positive.

Small intimate groups in a friendly relaxing environment in Romford.
Call to book your place. Details are on magicalbabymoments website.

Book before 1 May and get two Maternity Meet-up relaxation sessions for free (worth £20).
#magicalbabymoments #hypnobirthing #hypnobirthingclasses #kghypnobirthing #labour #birth #pregnancy #pregnant #hypnobirthingclassesessex #calmbirth #positivebirth #Romford #ilford #brentwood #gideapark #rainham #essex #eastlondon

The benefits of Perineal Massage and how to do it

Starting around 34 weeks, try massaging your perineum. Daily perineal massage may increase the area’s ability to stretch, leading to less need for an episiotomy and fewer natural tears.

Try this technique yourself, with clean hands and trimmed nails.

How to do Perineal Massage

  1. . Use a lubricant such as olive oil/sweet almond oil to your hands and the perineal area.
  2. Place a thumb or two fingers 3cm into the vagina (half your thumb).
  3. Massage the area by gently rubbing the perineal tissues between your thumb and fingers.
  4. Press downwards and to the sides, gently stretching until you feel a tingling sensation. The feeling lessens after a few moments.
  5. Once this sensation is felt, hold the stretch for around one minute, until the feeling subsides and begin gently massaging the lower part of the vagina by moving your thumb back and forth. While massaging also hook your thumb onto the sides of the vagina and gently pull these tissues forward, as your baby’s head does, when they are being born.
  6. Continue to gently rub as you stretch for around 3-4 minutes.

Discontinue if you feel pain.

  • Perineal massage alone is not the only technique to prevent tearing/avoiding an episiotomy during birth. Also try:
    Pelvic floor exercises
  • Squatting, or a similar position that works with gravity, during labour/birth
  • Birthing pool – the warmth and water softens the perineum
  • Slow births, gently breathing the baby down, rather than coached pushing

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