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Can perineal massage help me avoid an episiotomy?

(22 Posts)
Bambi86 Fri 18-Jan-13 20:36:46

Just that really...

I'm 30 weeks with DC1, reading Morgan's Hypno Birthing book which suggests regular massage in the last few weeks.

Did anybody do this? Did you find that it made a difference? Many Thanks!

Chocaholics Fri 18-Jan-13 20:43:49

I did it during both my pregnancies and didnt need an episiotomy nor did I have any tears in either delivery. No idea if it was because of this or just good luck but I thought it was worth trying.

Pizzaexpress2 Fri 18-Jan-13 20:44:05

Lot more factors to be considered. The actual amount of women that need an episiotomy because of lack of stretch, so to speak, is minimal.
IME episiotomy is usually with forceps, ventouse or need to get baby out Fast.
In hundreds if births I can only recall one which was straightforward where an episode was required.
But if perineal massage makes you feel like you are more prepared then why not?
Not sure if that hopes, just my experience, sure others will add more soon.

rrreow Fri 18-Jan-13 21:11:06

I did it and had a 2nd degree tear. No clue if it would've been worse if I hadn't done it though. I'm fairly petite and have always felt quite 'tight' down there. I'm not planning on doing it for DC2 as I'd hope that having given birth once stuff is more stretchy down there now anyway!

forgetmenots Fri 18-Jan-13 21:34:19

Pizza are you a MW? (Not meant to sound cheeky, genuinely interested to hear more, surprised by your answer given how much I've heard about massage.

Marking my place here to pick up tips!

NaturalBaby Fri 18-Jan-13 21:41:30

No. The mw delivering the baby can prevent tears by managing the head as it comes out. I had to do a lot of pushing to get ds1 out, and he had a big head so I'm not sure if a tear could have been avoided. My biggest issue was not letting the mw stitch up the tear - it was borderline and I said no thanks but it didn't heal very well.

sw11mumofone Fri 18-Jan-13 21:54:41

My biggest fear of childbirth was having an episiotomy so I did do perineal massage. On top of that I bought an epino (recommended by my pregnancy yoga teacher). It may not be many people's cup of tea, but I was prepared to try anything that would reduce my chances of tearing or being cut. It is a device that enables you to slowly practice "birthing". It has two purposes - firstly to help stretch you like perineal massage and secondly to enable you to experience that burning sensation you get when crowning. This helps prevent panic and is supposed to leave you feeling more in control. Well, it worked for me. Its not cheap (approx 90 quid) but worth every penny imo. I had a pretty awful first birth, induction, three failed epidurals and ended up with a ventouse delivery. Midwife said they always did an episiotomy with a ventouse delivery. I begged them not to and they said they would try as long as I did everything they told me and stayed in control. They took their time and I didn't tear and didn't need a single stitch. I'm convinced it was due to the epino and perineal massage. I will definitely be using it again this time.

Rockchick1984 Sat 19-Jan-13 00:03:13

I was terrified of needing an episiotomy or tearing, so massaged throughout the whole third trimester. I needed an episiotomy in the end, but it wasn't anywhere near as traumatic as I thought it would be, and was fully healed within 3 weeks. So personally, it was a waste of time but obviously everyone is different - I felt better that I was trying to do something to avoid it and if I hadn't done it, and had the episiotomy, I'd have been wondering if I could have avoided it by practicing perineal massage! smile

blondieminx Sat 19-Jan-13 00:24:28

I did it from 34 weeks but still ended up with a 2nd degree tear sad

TodaysAGoodDay Sat 19-Jan-13 00:55:13

I did it from around 30 weeks, and still ended up with an episiotomy. Not as painful as I imagined though.

BumgrapesofWrath Sat 19-Jan-13 01:14:59

I think it may help to stretch things, so maybe less chance of tearing, but I think you can't avoid an episiotomy as it is done as a necessaty usually.

I've had two 9lb babies without tearing, without using perineal massage. In both cases the midwives really helped to stop the tearing.

Praying4Beatrice Sat 19-Jan-13 01:25:27

Afaik there is some evidence for it working. I did it before my first, no epis here.

gussiegrips Sat 19-Jan-13 01:26:57

I've had 3 9lbish babies without doing massage, and had no tears.

It's just as well I was blessed with a stretch fanny, as my arms were too short ot do perineal massage in the first place - and DH wouldm't have fancied it much...

CalamityJ Sat 19-Jan-13 22:12:24

I'm giving it a go as my NCT classes and the Mongan book recommended it. I figure it's only time and organic olive oil I'm wasting grin. Given the logistics my DH was happy to give me a hand and it's helped bring him closer to the birthing experience I think. Fingers crossed it'll work...

gloucestergirl Sat 19-Jan-13 22:19:56

I had a tear. Thought it'd be awful, but they used a numbing spray to do the stitching and it was fine. It hurt to wee, but pouring warm water from a bottle while weeing helped. It was gone in a week. The sore nipples and constipation were equally as bad. Don't be scared just accept that your body will be sore afterward the birth.

Poppins27 Sat 19-Jan-13 22:25:43

I had planned on doing it thinking it was just a 'little rub' with bio oil but actually read up on what I should have been doing and just wasn't brave enough really.

Despite not doing it and having a seriously speedy delivery, no episiotomy needed or in fact any tearing!! (I realise I was extremely lucky...or terribly baggy alreadywink)

DoItToJulia Sat 19-Jan-13 22:33:02

It just gave me thrush! Not what I wanted right before giving birth! I didn't tear or need episiotomy in the end....I think it depends on lots of factors tbh.why not try it? See how you get on?

chubbychipmonk Sun 20-Jan-13 17:57:46

Yep, I did it from about 36 weeks & had no tears / stitches. If there's a chance it might prevent tearing then it's worth a try IMO, good luck!

wanderingcloud Sun 20-Jan-13 19:32:37

I did it from about 32 weeks and ended up with a third degree tear. sad

Had a very short labour though so you win some, you lose some!

DizzyDizzy Mon 21-Jan-13 00:01:21

funnily enough, my cousin has REALLY stressed for me to do this. she said start doing it around 34weeks and use olive oil.... but i don't like the idea of smelling like a deep fat fryer, so probably going to use lube x

Weissdorn Mon 21-Jan-13 06:39:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Conanchensee Mon 21-Jan-13 09:28:30

Hi, I'd say go for it. I had horrible tearing with DD, infections went on for 12 weeks and it really spoilt the new baby experience.

I did PM from about 36 weeks with DS and I was stunned that I didn't have any tearing and an amazing recovery (yes, could also have been because it was more stretched down there and a better MW). DD was 7lb and DS 105oz (with a huge head) so I feel that the PM must have done something! I'm pregnant with no. 3 and will definitely do it again.

Good luck but also don't worry, like previous posts have said a lot will depend on luck and the MW and I'm sure feeling relaxed and in control must help- I also did hypno CD with DS which was a huge help just to for something to do.

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