Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Childbirth: Perineal Massage Before Labor
perineum is the muscle and tissue between the anus and
vulva. During childbirth, the perineum stretches and
sometimes tears. One way to help prevent tearing is to stretch and massage the
perineum for a few weeks before your due date.
Studies show that
women who did regular perineal massage reported less perineal pain in the weeks
after childbirth. Women having their first vaginal delivery also had lower
Starting at week 34 of
your pregnancy, take about 5 minutes to massage your perineum, three to four
times a week. The goal is to get the muscle and tissue used to stretching. At
first, it may burn and feel uncomfortable. But this will get better after a few
Beckmann MM, Stock OM (2013). Antenatal perineal massage for reducing perineal trauma. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (4).
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerKirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Current as ofMay 30, 2016
Current as of:
May 30, 2016
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.