As your due date approaches thoughts turn towards the birth. Perineal massage with oil may help it to stretch more easily in preparation. As it’s not the easiest place to get to, this handy balm form, combining oils of almond, jojoba, apricot kernel and shea butter for supple skin is a welcome alternative to messy oils. For ingredients click Within.
Massage – Preparing the perineum with massage may help it to stretch more easily during childbirth, reducing the likelihood of perineal trauma or episiotomy and postbirth perineal pain. It also prepares you for the sensation of stretching you will experience during the birth enabling you to feel more relaxed, which in turn can help you to deliver more comfortably.
Begin from week 34
You can do the massage yourself or ask your partner to help.
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 could stand with one leg up on a step or stool, changing legs halfway through.
On clean hands warm Perineum Balm 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.
Massage can be included daily for around five minutes.
Before you begin read Massage for pregnancy
Ingredients – Prunus amygdalusdulcis (Almond) oil*,Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) seed oil*, Prunus armeniaca (Apricot) kernel oil*, Cera alba (Beeswax)*, Butospermum parkii (Shea) butter*, Cocos nucifera (Coconut) oil*, Tocopherol(Vitamin E from Sunflower)
*from organic agriculture
95.5% Organic of total. 100% natural origin
Nutrition – Good nutrition is essential in promoting tissue health and elasticity of the perineum for stretching during birth. Take a look at the advice for skin elasticity given in the Stretch Butter WITHIN section.
Oily fish in the diet has additional relevance in the third trimester as this is an important developmental stage for your growing baby, increasing the requirement for Omega 3 fatty acids and in particular docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) that can only be obtained from the diet.
This fatty acid plays a special role in foetal retina and neurodevelopment and may be important for the timing of gestation and birth weight as well.
To ensure adequate intake to enhance cognitive ability and visual acuity include oily fish such as herring, mackerel and sardines and eggs or a pregnancy DHA supplement.