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Perineal Massage

Are you pregnant and preparing for labor and delivery? If you are not pregnant now, but plan on having a child in the future, this message is for you!

Perineal massage is a technique that has been around for years. Midwives are often known to complete this practice. What is it? Let’s begin with the perineum. This is the area between the vagina and anus where many muscles and connective tissue attach. This area is frequently torn or cut (an episiotomy) during labor and delivery. Massaging the perineum assists in stretching and loosening this and the surrounding tissue, thereby creating softer structures for the baby to pass through.

One quality review study on perineal massage shows a significant difference in the reduction of trauma requiring suturing and a decrease in likelihood of an episiotomy in women who had at least one previous vaginal delivery. Women were also less likely to suffer from pain 3 months post-partum.1

If you are interested in learning more talk with your midwife or see a pelvic floor physical therapist. The technique can be completed in the clinic or can be taught to practice at home with your significant other. The massage should begin after 34 weeks of pregnancy and can continue up until you give birth. It’s easy to complete and takes 10-15 minutes a day. Why not give it a try, there is nothing to risk, except possibly less pain following childbirth… and who isn’t going to want to try that?!

Happy birthing!


1.       Beckmann MMStock OM. Antenatal perineal massage for reducing perineal trauma. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Apr 30;4:CD005123.