How to Give Yourself a Perineal Massage

Perineal massage is a gentle massage that promotes the elasticity of the lower regions of the cervix. Once this area is relaxed, it will be able to stretch to accommodate the birth of a baby. If you are fortunate, an episiotomy will be avoided.

Wash hands thoroughly. Introducing foreign bacteria to the vagina could be hazardous to the fetus' (and mother's) health. Get comfortable in a private location. Leaning or sitting is the best position for perineal massage.

Apply a lubricant on one's perineum and thumbs. Good choices would be vitamin E oil, vegetable oil, KY jelly or olive oil.

Insert thumbs 1 to 1 1/2 inches inside of the vagina. Press against the sides of the vagina and downward at the same time. Continue to stretch the area until a tingling or burning feeling is experienced. Keep constant pressure on area until the sensation seems to fade away. This will take approximately two minutes.

Massage the lower portion of the vagina in a back and forth motion. Proceed slowly and gently. Continue to work the lubricant into the tissues for four minutes.

Pull the perineum forward and outward while thumbs are still hooked inside. This will stretch the tissue the same way a baby's head will stretch the perineum as the baby crowns.

Start applying perineum massage at the 34th week of pregnancy up to twice a day. There will be a noticeable increase in stretchiness and flexibility after a week.


Be careful not the massage or apply lubricant to the urinary opening.

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