How to prevent vaginal tears or avoid the use of episiotomy during childbirth.

You may have heard about this technique called perineal massage, used to prepare the woman’s body for childbirth. More than a massage, it is made by stretching.

Effective technique?

For years, health professionals, mainly midwives, have used perineal massage to help stretch the area that lies between the vagina and rectum. However, little research then available on its effectiveness in preventing tearing during childbirth. Recent research has shown that when pregnant women practiced perineal massage daily in the last weeks of pregnancy, the chances of tearing and episiotomy (so keep an intact perineum) were larger. It is interesting to note that studies have not demonstrated the effectiveness of perineal massage performed during childbirth. It seems it is important to be proactive and to practice this technique before birth to prepare and caliper tissues of the perineum.


The method is simple: Hands must be clean and short nails. Introduce an inch into the vagina, the index and middle fingers rest on the outside and massage the perineum, making small movements from right to left and vice versa, or slight rotations for three to five minutes The goal is to soften the fibrous tissues of the perineum. These massages should be done with a vegetable oil: sweet almond oil, calendula oil, etc.

How do the perineal massage?

Mastering the technique of perineal massage takes a little practice so that the woman feels comfortable. Some research shows that mothers sometimes need a week or two of practice to do the massage correctly. Women who practice, are so often the first to recommend the technique to other women. “Nearly 80% of women who performed the exercises say they would do it again during another pregnancy and 87% would recommend the technique to other pregnant women.”

If you are interested and want to learn more about this massage and as with any alternative or complementary therapeutic method practiced during pregnancy, it is better to seek the advice of your doctor or your obstetrician or midwife before starting the perineal massage. Other techniques can be used in addition to massage the perineum, and that during childbirth. In others, choose different birthing positions: lying on his side, crouching, etc.