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Thread: Perineal massage question

  1. #1

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    Default Perineal massage question

    What is more important? The massage or the stretching. The whole process is getting rather impossible so what should the focus be on. Also everything is pretty swollen down there are the moment - I heard another poster in another thread make a ref to a cow - that's just how I feel. Is it still worth doing? Thanks


  2. #2

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    Sarah, I wish I could help you with an answer. I know what you mean, I attempted it about a week or so ago but I am sure I was quite unsuccessful and actually to be honest haven't tried again. I don't know how I'm supposed to do it when I can barely reach properly.

    Hopefully someone can give us both some answers cos I've also been wondering how important it is to do this or if in the end it comes down to some people no matter what will need stitches or whatever.

  3. #3
    yvette Guest

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    Hi there,

    I'm 35 weeks now and has tarted doing perinium massage and stretching. I dont do it myself as I cant really do it. I let DH do it for me. We try to do it every night and its a bit painful and very uncomfortable at first but I'm now getting used to it. He massage and stretch it at the same time.

    Cheers
    Yvette

  4. #4

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    my understanding is you need to massage to loosen the skin up before the stretching...

  5. #5

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    I think the stretching would be. During my first birth, the first thing my OB did after checking how dilated I was when I said I wanted to push was to use his fingers to stretch my perennial area.
    The massage would be to warm up the skin and loosen it before you stretch it, as Danni said.

  6. #6

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    SARAM - I think I started the thread about being swollen & somebody else mentioned to me that cows get very swollen when they are close to birth. I have noticed that I am even more swollen now than I have ever been, so I hope my time is near! I did the perineal massage/stretching with Jessica & I ended up with no tears, but my m/w knew of my fears of tearing or being stitched so she actually massaged Jessica head out & her head circumference was only 30cm anyway, so she had a tiny head, they actually monitored her head for the few days because it was so small, so I guess in the end I was lucky.

    I have to admit I haven't done it this time around, mainly because I know that the baby is much bigger this time & I have been so swollen & so uncomfortable that I haven't been bothered with it.

    Love Jayne xox

  7. #7

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    Saram,
    You will find mixed responses to perineal massage. Personally, I believe the positions that you adopt in labour. The noises you make with your mouth and your lips and the use of water are possibly more beneficial than weeks of stretching that poor peri! I say possibly as I know some wome swear by perineal massage. Personally before my first baby I stretched my peri and oiled it and talked to it!!!! I did have a second degree tear. My others I ditched the whole idea and I haven't had a tear in childbirth since. Now that doesn't mean it doesn't work for some women. It doesn't mean much really except my experience was different. However, I have had a bit to do with this and haven't seen any antecdotal evidence that it is that beneficial. Maybe Kelly has some stats?

    In some indigenous cultures peri massage/stretching is used and others it isn't. I often look to indigenous women for answers as their wisdom is great but even there there seems to be a divide.

    I would say if you want to give it a burl keep stretching (use oil such as olive oil) but if it's becoming a bit tiresome than give it a break.

  8. #8
    Sherm Guest

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    Hi, I spoke to my obstret about the benefits of peren massage, and he said that it really depended on how elastic your skin is.. and thats usually hereditary. A good indication is stretch marks, if you have them then the chances are your skin is less elastic and that massaging it, and using an EpiNow (sp?) device is useful... Just found out about Epinow.. a device that gets inserted and pumped while inside you to aid with the stretching. Between $180 and $200 for chemists. The mid-wife at the hospital swore by it..

  9. #9

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    I've been doing it for a couple of weeks now. Sitting up, perhaps on the edge of a chair, can make it a bit more comfortable and accessible if you're doing it yourself. I figure I might as well keep doing it as long as I can as it might help. I do it at the same time as I do the internal work from the Pink Kit.

  10. #10

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    I was advised to do this when I was planning my first VBAC. The midwife stressed that best results came from beginning asap in pg, NOT waiting till the last 4 weeks. I did it & delivered without a tear, even though bub delivered face up & second stage was LONG. She also massaged the perineum whilst i was in labour.
    2nd VBAC, new place, midwife said not to worry about perineal massage. I felt more confident too. Baby born under water, no perineal massage btw contractions, no tear. He presented OA though.
    I certainly think you do NOT need to buy anything special to do it.

  11. #11

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    I would actually disagree with comparing stretchmarks with tears as my belly stretched galore during pregnancy but I only had a slight tear after birth that didn't require stitches and healed within the week.
    I would agree with Flowerchild re. positions for labour...squatting/standing/any upright position opens your pelvis up to THIRTY PERCENT MORE (!!!!) than lying on your back...
    I did perineum massage from 38 weeks onwards about 4 times a week and although I tore, the massage certainly helped me recognise and not freak out about the crowning feeling you get.

  12. #12

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    thanks for all the input, I think I will keep at it as best I can at least for as long as I can

  13. #13

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    Can someone advise (or refer me to a place I can find out) exactly how you go about doing the massage and stretching???
    TIA

  14. #14

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    Antenatal perineal massage for reducing perineal trauma

    Beckmann MM, Garrett AJ

    This is a Cochrane review abstract and plain language summary, prepared and maintained by The Cochrane Collaboration. The full text of the review is available in The Cochrane Library (ISSN 1464-780X).

    The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2006 Issue 4
    Copyright © 2006 The Cochrane Collaboration. Published by John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.

    Date of last Subtantial Update: October 16. 2005

    Plain language summary
    Antenatal perineal massage helps reduce both perineal trauma during birth and pain afterwards

    Most women are keen to give birth without perineal tears, cuts and stitches, as these often cause pain and discomfort afterwards, and this can impact negatively on sexual functioning. Perineal massage during the last month of pregnancy has been suggested as a possible way of enabling the perineal tissue to expand more easily during birth. The review of trials showed that perineal massage, undertaken by the woman or her partner (for as little as once or twice a week from 35 weeks), reduced the likelihood of perineal trauma (mainly episiotomies) and ongoing perineal pain. The impact was clear for women who had not given birth vaginally before, but was less clear for women who had. There were no randomised trials on the use of massage devices. Women should be informed about the benefits of antenatal perineal massage.

  15. #15

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    Jac,
    Hello there!!!!!!!!!! I have been wondering about you. My goodness that ticker is almost tocked!!!!! I hope you are feeling strong and healthy.

    The intricacies of PM are really not that complicated. It helps if you use an oil (olive oil is fine). Rub the oil around your perineal area (the area from your vagina to your anal area. Obviously don't go too close to your anal area as their is a slight risk of germies entering your vagina. With your index finger and your thumb slightly inside your vagina fan out your fingers until you feel a burning sensation. This will be uncomfortable - this burning sensation is the feeling of that stretching and you will feel that during your second stage of labour. Have you got the PINK KIT? This is really valuable for women to recognise the sensations in their bodies and just get to know their "bits" a bit more.

    Your midwife will be able to help you. Some women find it better to do it themselves and others like their partners to do it.

    I don't know where you could go for more detailed info on the process of perineal massage - your midwife or the pink kit would be my suggestions.

    Good luck Jac

  16. #16

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    Hiya Deb!
    Yes, I am getting close now so can't help putting a little thought towards the birth. I don't see a midwife, only my OB so I will ask him at my next appointment (though I'm guessing he will tell me not to bother - I get the impression he will say it's not necessary). I don't even know what the Pink Kit is but have seen it mentioned on BB. I will look into it...... I'm having trouble remembering to do my pelvic floor exercises let alone adding an activity that will burn my bits .

    Hope you and your family are well Deb.

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