Your perineum is the patch of skin between your vagina and anus and it's this part that's most likely to tear when you give birth. Most women will suffer from some type of childbirth tearing around 9 out of 10 women with their first baby and around 7 out of 10 with subsequent births. The risks of having tears to your birth canal and the perineum during the birth of your baby are mostly predestined by genetics and the position that your baby was in during birth, but there are some things that you can do to reduce the risk and help to prevent perineal tears. These include:. Another method that can be used in pregnancy is perineal massage.
Perineal massage: stretching your vagina for childbirth | Practical Parenting Australia
The perineum is a little-known part of the body, tucked away between the anus and the vulva in women, and between the anus and the scrotal sac in men. The patch of skin may seem like non-descript, but it is a nerve-rich part capable of producing intensely pleasurable sensations and providing some health benefits if stroked or touched correctly. Many who do eventually find the location are left wondering how to stimulate the region. And is sexual pleasure the only benefit you derive from massaging the perineum.
You can prepare your vagina for childbirth with these massage and stretching techniques. It can also help with pain during the crowning stage during a vaginal delivery. It isn't recommended before you are 34 weeks pregnant. These kinds of tears are relatively common, and because it's only the skin around the vagina, they typically heal on their own in the weeks following the birth. Some tears are more extensive and require treatment.
But does perineal massage prevent tearing at birth? Do women need to massage their own perineums during the final weeks of pregnancy? Should women consent to this technique during the pushing stage of labor?