The suggestion of massage in the last weeks of pregnancy is usually most welcome – the mention of perineum massage however tends not to be met with such enthusiasm. For first time mums, those over thirty and those with previous scarring the benefits make it well worth overcoming any reticence. In a previous post I explained the why, when and what of perineum preparation. Here I share technique.
How do I do perineum massage?
You can do the massage yourself or ask your partner to help if you prefer.
Ideally begin from week 34 and try to massage daily for around five minutes. You may find it easiest to perform the massage after a bath or shower when your skin is warm and soft.
Find a comfortable position on a bed or sofa with pillows behind you for support, place your feet together and drop your legs out to the sides. Alternatively you can stand with one leg up on a step or stool, changing legs halfway through.
Apply a suitable massage product to clean hands between your thumb and forefinger. Place one thumb just inside the back wall of the vagina with your forefinger on your perineum. Press down towards the rectum to stretch and then gently massage in a rhythmic U shaped motion maintaining the stretch as you do so. Breathe and concentrate on relaxing the perineum as you massage. Initially you may experience a tingling sensation but this should subside as you continue.
Do not perform the massage if you are suffering from herpes, vaginal thrush or other known infections.
What do I use for the perineum massage?
A natural, unfragranced, pregnancy safe product is recommended for this delicate area.
As it’s not the easiest place to get to I formulated perineum balm as a welcome alternative to messy oils. It combines organic oils and butters including almond, jojoba and shea which encourage supple skin and only melts once you begin to massage.
A mum’s story
I used the Nom Nom Perineum Balm for the last month or so of my pregnancy. I really liked having a dedicated special product to use for this purpose which can seem a bit of an awkward task when you are heavily pregnant. I used the balm most days in the month leading up to the birth of my baby and, at the end of a long labour with a baby in a difficult position, I found I had no tears at all and as a result no need for stitches. I will definitely use the balm again in any future pregnancies – Mary Ann
Buy Nom Nom Perineum Balm, £16, 60ml
Jayne Russell has over twenty years of experience as a pre’ and postnatal massage and nutritional therapist and is the founder of Nom Nom – award winning, certified organic pregnancy and baby skincare. Sign up for your free skincare guide “10 Steps to Super Healthy Baby Skin” at nomnomskincare.com