Push Prep Crash Course: Day 3

Perineal Massage

A step-by-step guide on how to properly perform a perineal massage and when it is safe to start.

What is perineal massage?

Let’s break it down.
Perineal massage is a technique that we use to help prepare the tissue around your vagina, stretch it, and reduce the risk of higher-level tearing.
It is NOT what you will often find on YouTube, and it is NOT effective if a nurse is doing it for the first time while the baby is crowning during delivery. In fact, that approach can cause more trauma and tearing due to swelling.

When to start doing perineal massage

You should start doing perineal massage around 34-36 weeks. This will give you enough time to consistently prep the tissues.
You can totally start earlier though! Especially if you have had a previous tear or trauma and want to avoid the same thing happening again.
You should not do perineal massage if any of the following are true:
It is always a good idea to talk to your doctor before starting.

How to properly do a perineal massage

Make sure you watch the video above for a better visual and explanation of how to perform a perineal massage, I’ll run through the steps here as well though.
You can modify positions and/or use your partner if you can’t reach down there further along in your pregnancy, try standing up with your foot up on the toilet or bathtub, for example.
I hope this was helpful and you learned something new!
Tomorrow we’ll cover the best positions to push in during labor, proper breathing technique, and how to push.
Down There Done Right

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