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Home > Living Well > Health Library > Childbirth: Perineal Massage Before Labor
In women, the perineum is the muscle and tissue between the anus and the vulva. During childbirth, the perineum stretches and sometimes tears. One way to help prevent tearing is to stretch and massage the perineum for a few weeks before your due date.
Studies show that women who did regular perineal massage reported less perineal pain in the weeks after childbirth. Women having their first vaginal delivery also had lower rates of episiotomy.footnote 1
Starting at week 34 of your pregnancy, take about 5 minutes to massage your perineum, three to four times a week. The goal is to get the muscle and tissue used to stretching. At first, it may burn and feel uncomfortable. But this will get better after a few massage sessions.
Beckmann MM, Stock OM (2013). Antenatal perineal massage for reducing perineal trauma. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (4).
Current as of:
June 16, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Kathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family MedicineKirtly Jones MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Current as of: June 16, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
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