Perineal Massage Instructions2017-01-25T19:59:55+00:00

Perineal Massage Instructions

Perineal massage is time well spent! Numerous clinical studies point to the benefits of perineal massage during the last several weeks of pregnancy for reducing perineal tearing during delivery and decreasing the incidence of pain during sex following childbirth. Just 5 minutes per day can help prevent long term complications.

How to Perform Perineal Massage on Yourself

Before beginning Perineal Massage, ensure that your hands are washed, and your fingernails are trimmed short to prevent possible scratching. There are several positions that work well for women. These include: a) Sitting propped up in bed with your knees bent; b) squatting against a wall for support with or without the aid of a stack of books or stool; and c) raising one leg such as in the shower or on the toilet. Feel free to use different positions on different days. Also feel free to try reaching your hands in front or behind you to do the PM.

a)

b)

c)

Perineal Massage can be done with either your thumbs or fingers. It is fine to change up fingers if you start to become tired. Two thumbs, index fingers, middle fingers or two fingers at a time all work.

For the massage itself, remember the goal is stretch the back portion of the birth canal, down towards the anus and apart side to side, using more and more pressure over time.

  • Choose your position.
  • Pour about a teaspoonful of BabyIt™ onto your fingers and apply it to the perineum, taking care to ensure that your thumbs or fingers are also well-lubricated. Insert your thumbs or fingers about one inch inside of the vagina, resting your palms against your inside leg.
  • Press gently down with your thumbs or fingers toward the anus, then pull them apart from each other and out to the sides. Keep massaging down and out to stretch and relax these tissues. Pressure should not be painful, but the first week or two it is normal to feel a slight burning or stretching sensation.
  • Several times during your massage, hold this stretched position while continuing to breathe deeply and consciously relaxing your muscles in this region. An important benefit of PM is learning to relax and not fight the sensation of perineal stretching since this will occur during childbirth as well.
  • Reapply BabyIt™ as needed, for a total Perineal Massage time of at least 5 minutes.

How to Perform Perineal Massage with Your Partner

The process for performing Perineal Massage with your partner is identical to the self-massage technique, but with one key difference: your partner should use his/her (clean and trimmed) index fingers as opposed to thumbs. Your partner should sit across from you, with his/her legs apart and your legs draped over the outside of his/her legs. Once you are comfortable with the techniques, your partner may prefer using two fingers on each hand.

Download Perineal Massage Instructions

You can download a pdf of these perineal massage instructions for use with BabyIt Perineal Massage and Postpartum Recovery Gel.

Images courtesy of Fairhaven Health

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