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Perineal Care during pregnancy

Pelvic Floor Exercises Video:

This Youtube Video describes pelvic floor exercises that may be done preconception, during pregnancy and in the postpartum period.

Many women benefit from pelvic floor exercises to prepare for birth. A handout can be found here about Pelvic Floor Exercises

Some women may benefit from perineal massage.

A 2013 Cochrane review (n=2,500) of antenatal perineal massage showed modest reductions in episiotomy rate, perineal trauma, and pain. Other studies have shown that perineal massage might not be helpful. This practice is safe to do if you would like to try.

Perineal massages can begin around week 34. Aim for about a five minute massage every day.

Make sure that your hands are clean and that your nails are clipped (your partner will thank you), and use an organic oil. Olive oil (yes, the kind you cook with) is a good choice, but you can also use almond and other oils.

Use your thumbs, inserted into her vagina, to move in circular type motions from the back (nearest to the perineum) and swooping around the sides to the front. Apply even pressure without pushing. She should be able to feel the pressure and stretching, but it should not hurt.


"Antenatal perineal massage", Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals, NHS Trust

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