Perineum massage

Let’s start by explaining what is your perineum:

Your amazing strong and stretchy perineum is formed by lots of muscles and you can locate it in the area between your vaginal opening and the rectum BUT is definitely more than that little piece of skin, in fact, it does include muscle, skin, ligaments, nervous receptors, pleasure receptors, gland receptors and blood vessels.

This area stretches a lot during childbirth and sometimes tears. Perineal massage in pregnancy aims to gradually soften and stretch the vagina and area around it in preparation for the big stretch. It will help in making it more flexible so it can stretch more easily during labour. Research studies have found that perineal massage from 34 weeks of pregnancy can reduce the chance of your vagina tearing and also reduce the need for forceps or ventouse (suction) to help you birth your baby.

It is particularly beneficial for women having their first baby, women over 30 years old and women who have had an episiotomy (vaginal cut) before. It will also help you to become familiar with the feeling of pressure on the area and the stretch of the skin and muscles that you will feel when your baby is being born.

Perineal massage involves massaging the area between the vagina and bottom during late pregnancy. Some women massage their perineum themselves, while others prefer to get their partner to help.

It’s also a good idea to keep up your pelvic floor exercises throughout pregnancy. This helps ensure your pelvic muscles are strong and supportive during labour and after you give birth.

Let’s get started!

Recipe for perineum oil massage:

  • Carrier oil :

you can use many vegetable oils:

organic almond, cold-pressed organic coconut oil (it might be solid if you live in England or in any other cold countries 🙂

If you want to be extra fancy you can use Avocado Oil, high in omega 6 essential fatty acids which are important for skin cell renewal and Jojoba Oil is renowned for its ability to enhance the skins stretching ability.

Rosehip oil is also great for the skin. If your budget is low you can also use grapeseeds oil.

This time I’ve used a total of 100 MLS – sweet almond oil

  • essential oil at 1%, for example, is you use 100 mls of oil you will have to use a total of 20 drops of essential oil

I’ve chosen:

Good old Lavander oil provides the widest range of assistance to the body for healing, yet remains the gentlest of all essential oils.  Lavender has been used for centuries for its soothing and restorative properties and it has a relaxing effect on muscles but also relaxes your soul and spirit.

Frankincense is the king of essential oils, it has a variety of notable uses and benefits. This powerful essential oil is revered for its ability to beautify and rejuvenate skin when applied topically and to promote cellular health and immunity and produce a healthy inflammatory response. Frankincense was highly esteemed by ancient civilizations and used for the most sacred of practices. The perfume that Frankincense emits promotes feelings of satisfaction, peace, relaxation, and overall wellness. for this recipe and, in general, I use Absolute aroma essential oil.

I’ve also put some FLOWER REMEDIES: rescue remedy and CONFID ESSENCE for a bit of encouragement and positivity!

Mix the drops with the carrier oil and keep it in a dark bottle (amber OR blue glass bottle)

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How to massage your perineum

  • Perineal massage should be done three or four times a week for five minutes, beginning when you are 34 weeks pregnant.
  • Either you or your partner can do the massage. Use a mirror for the first few times so you can see what you are doing. It is more comfortable to do the massage after a bath as this will soften the surrounding tissues.
  • Before starting, go to the toilet if you need to, wash your hands and find a comfortable position: sitting, lying down supported by pillows, squatting against a wall or standing with one foot raised and resting on the bath, toilet or a chair.
  • Use vegetable oil or use my recipe for extra benefits from essential oil. Do not use baby oil, mineral oil or petroleum jelly (Vaseline). T
  • If you are doing the massage yourself, it is probably easiest to use your thumbs. Your partner can use both index fingers.
  • Place the fingers or thumbs about five centimetres (two inches) into the vagina (up to your second knuckle).
  • Using a sweeping motion, pressing downwards, move in a rhythmic movement from right to left and back again. This movement will stretch the vaginal tissue and muscles surrounding the vagina.
  • You can also massage the skin of the perineum between the thumb and forefingers.
  • As you or your partner perform the massage, apply steady pressure downwards towards your bottom until you feel a tingling sensation. This will help you recognise the feeling that you will have when your baby’s head begins to come out of your vagina (crowning).

ULTIMATELY YOU WANT TO BE CONFIDENT WITH YOUR BODY, AND HOW IT FEELS, WHERE THINGS ARE: EXPLORE, USE A MILLOR, LOOK, FEEL IF IT IS SOFT OR TIGHT, IS IS MOIST, OR DRY, FEEL THE TISSUES INSIDE AND OUTSIDE… FEEL YOUR SACRED BODY!

VISUALIZATION DURING THE MASSAGE:

Concentrate on relaxing your pelvic floor muscles during the massage with breathing and visualization exercises:

Take a big breath and make the exhale longer than the inhale.. as long as you can. You can use aahhh sound when you do it. remember to keep your mouth and jaw soft and open, this promotes opening and softening of your perineum, vagina and also your cervix! Isn’t it MAGIC?

Visualize your beautiful baby’s being born and stretching beautify your skin and muscles, imagine you are opening and making space for your baby to come and maybe MANIFEST your wise perineum remain intact, and your baby coming gently.

This is the beautiful logo from Ina May Gaskin’s Spiritual Midwifery and The Farm Midwifery CenterThe image of the crowning baby is similar to Artist Gisela’s Crowning Rose image

The perineum massage technique was Inspired by my hospital trust guideline where you can also find a VIDEO and other tips to prevent vaginal tears during birth such as our ORB project.