Perineal Massage: The Benefits backed by Science & Research
Perineal massage is a technique that involves massaging the perineum, which is the area between the vaginal opening and anus, in preparation for childbirth. This technique has gained popularity over the years due to the numerous benefits associated with it. The leading perineal massage benefits are listed below, including frequently asked questions and answers with sources backed by medical and scientific journals.
The benefits of perineal massage:
Reduces the risk of perineal tears
Perineal massage has been found to significantly reduce the risk of perineal tears during childbirth. A study published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that women who practiced perineal massage during the last few weeks of pregnancy were less likely to experience perineal trauma during childbirth. The study also found that perineal massage reduced the need for episiotomies, which are surgical incisions made to enlarge the vaginal opening during childbirth.
Improves perineal flexibility
Perineal massage helps to improve the flexibility of the perineum by increasing blood flow to the area and reducing tension. This can make it easier for the perineum to stretch during childbirth, reducing the risk of tearing. A study published in the Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health found that women who practiced perineal massage had more perineal flexibility and were less likely to experience severe perineal trauma during childbirth.
Reduces pain during childbirth
Perineal massage has been found to reduce pain during childbirth. A study published in the Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine found that women who practiced perineal massage had significantly lower pain scores during the second stage of labor compared to women who did not practice perineal massage. The study also found that perineal massage reduced the need for pain medication during childbirth.
Improves sexual function
Perineal massage can also improve sexual function after childbirth. A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that women who practiced perineal massage during pregnancy had improved sexual function and less pain during intercourse after childbirth compared to women who did not practice perineal massage.
Provides a sense of control
Practicing perineal massage can also provide a sense of control for women during childbirth. By actively participating in the preparation for childbirth, women can feel more empowered and confident during labor and delivery.