Bringing a baby in the world is the biggest bliss and the most amazing mystery. It is not as simple and smooth as it seems. Not far we have been with miscarriages, growth, development, that we might hear about a perineal massage that aids in delivery. First of all it is tough to imagine how such a big baby almost the size of a huge watermelon can come out of the body unless it breaks, and to top it all, a perineal massage which aids in delivery and helps in avoiding an Episiotomy, which is nothing but a surgical cut done between the vagina and anus. To answer all these, how’s and why, let us study them under following heads one by one.
What Is The Perineum?
Perineum is a soft skin present in between the vagina and the anus. This skin here is very delicate and predisposed to tearing since it is close from where the baby leaves the vaginal canal. The pressure on the perineum often leads to tearing of skin for the delivery of the baby and is common for the first time mommies who have vaginal birth or delivery. Few mommies have mild tears which are self-healing while others need medical supervision.
What Is Perineal Massage?
Perineal massage as indicative of the name, is more like massaging the perineum. This can be done by self or with the help of the spouse. This massage is basically done in order to widen and increase the elasticity of tissues present in the perineum area for planning of the baby’s birth , and is also done to avoid major tearing during delivery and to keep the area unharmed.
The Importance Of Preparing Your Perineum For Delivery
It is ideal to undergo a perennial massage as the tissues in that area are responsible for designing a strong foundation before moving ahead. Its importance thus can be studied from the following points:
- If the perineum is prepared the pelvic muscles become strong and stops prevention of urination after every cough.
- If the tissues are in intact position, strong and have enough flexibility to stretch at the time of the delivery then it helps the baby to move smoothly through the birth passage.
- If perineal massage is done in the last few weeks, it relaxes the tissues to expand in a natural way.
- Due to a perineal massage it becomes a habit to breathe even when there is a burning sensation or pain being felt, which makes the mothers more confident and strong while they experience labour.
Perineal Massage Instructions And Tips
As soon as you approach the 34th week, the perineal massage routine should be started as follows:
- Consult your health experts before beginning the routine.
- Perineal massage should be done daily for about five minutes till delivery.
- It isn’t mandatory to do the massage on a regular basis, but which makes the muscles elastic.
- Avoid using any natural oils for massage as they have chemicals that triggers vaginal infection.
Once the tips are followed, we should also study the manner in which it should be done or the instructions to be followed:
- Prior to massage, it is important to keep your hands clean and nails trimmed. It is best to take a hot shower so that the area becomes soft.
- Find a relaxed position which helps you to access the perineal area; in a way that that the hands should reach from font or back.
- Take almost a spoonful of the massage gel, rub on fingers and directly apply to the perineum area, keeping fingers and thumb hydrated.
- This massage can be done with the help of one or both the thumbs, middle or index fingers or any two fingers of the same hand.
- Using a massage gel helps in making the massage more relaxing and even helps to keep the perineum tissues moist.
- The fingers or thumbs, either ways have to be inserted close to an inch inside the vagina, so that pressure is applied down at the perineum area.
- The idea is to massage the rear portion of the birthing passage and to stretch the muscles almost to the anus and then side from side adding extra pressure every time.
- After the perineum has been in a stretched position for few minutes, the thumb should be moved in alongside the vagina, simultaneously stretching it.
- If two thumbs are being used, they can be made to move up sideways.
Is Perineal Massage Worth A Try?
Perineal massage is not something which might be a comfort zone for all. However, if done properly, it has quite many benefits in the long run. Even though the process is simple yet not many are in sync with it and find it difficult and very painful. The bottom line is there are not many disadvantages if not done, however it only gives positive results if tried.
Thus, perineal massage as a concept does not seem very convincing and is even found to be a little awkward, so not many want to give it a try. However with practice the process smoothens up and it helps avoiding an episiotomy or tearing, which if done is quite painful and very troublesome for months and years even after the baby is born.