December 18, 2012 by Rebecca Dekker, PhD, RN, APRN
© Copyright Evidence Based Birth®. Please see disclaimer and terms of use.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lars_p/4863427015/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lars_p/4863427015/

A few weeks ago, I posted on my Facebook page that I was planning to review the evidence for prenatal perineal massage. I clicked “post” and went to bed. The next morning when I looked at my Facebook page, I couldn’t help but laugh– the response was so unexpectedly enthusiastic– I couldn’t believe it! While I was sleeping, 71 one of my readers had “liked” this article, and 35 readers commented about it! An article about perineal massage, of all things. I love my readers, you guys are awesome.

I wrote the article about perineal massage for Science and Sensibility.

Here is a little snippet…

“It is thought that massaging the perineum during pregnancy can increase muscle and tissue elasticity and make it easier for a mother to avoid tearing during a vaginal birth. Typically, women are taught to spend about 10 minutes per day doing perineal massage, starting at about 34-35 weeks of pregnancy…”

But what does the evidence say?

“During pregnancy, massage of the perineum can reduce the risk of tearing requiring stitches, but this benefit is only seen in moms giving birth vaginally for the first time. It is thought that most of the decreased risk of perineal trauma is due to a decrease in the episiotomy rate.”

Be sure to visit Science and Sensibility to read the article and join the discussion in the comments section over there!

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