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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Another great weekend teaching Hypnobirthing to expectant parents in Romford 

This weekend 10 & 11 September saw more expectant parents in the Romford area learn about hypnobirthing. Here’s what they had to say about the course: 

“I feel more informed and now have an idea on how I want the birth of my baby to be.” Nisha

“I am a lot calmer and more positive about giving birth.” Sarah

“Hypnobirthing is something every expectant couple should try and experience. There is so much to think about when preparing for your baby and this helps to focus, through a condensed information pack and relaxation scripts.” Mayank

“I feel much better now, as this is our first baby. I didn’t know what to expect but now I feel more confident it will be s nice experience.” Sergio

If you want to prepare for your baby’s birth, find out more on Magical Baby Moments website.

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).
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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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