Perineal massage can help to improve the strength, increase flexibility and elasticity. The perineum is the skin between your vaginal and your anus, if performed in late pregnancy from 34 weeks onwards it may reduce the risk of you tearing badly or having an episiotomy. Your body prepares for this by releasing hormones which soften muscles, and ligaments to encourage stretching; you may have noticed this during pregnancy if your vagina feels ‘loose’ or you have experience slight incontinence. If your perineum is soft and relaxed, your baby can easily slips over the rim and out of the vagina. Making time to perform this massage will improve the chances of you birthing your baby with minimum trauma.
Ideally this massage should be performed daily, for at least five minutes. Before starting make sure that your finger nails are short and your hands are washed well with a non-perfumed soap, thoroughly rinsed to avoid any irritation and dry. The massage is best performed with oil; you can use any vegetable oil from your kitchen cupboard, virgin olive oil, sunflower oil etc. You may find it difficult to reach is area yourself, you may find it easier if you place one foot on the seat of a chair, with the other approximately two or three feet ways from the chair. This will allow you to work around and under your abdomen.
Technique – Pour a little of your chosen oil into a clean saucer. Adopt the standing pose as mention above, and dip you thumb into the oil and spread over the thumb down to your knuckle. Then insert the thumb into your vagina, pressing downward toward your rectum, rubbing the oil in a U shape applying some pressure so that it is slightly uncomfortable but not painful. This movement will stretch the vaginal tissue and the muscles surrounding your vagina, and the outer rim of the perineum. Remember to stretch the inner portions, as well as the outer rim of the perineum, try to relax; this will get easier with practice.