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Perineal massage with oil - Anyone tried it and does it really help???

23 replies

noodle6 · 19/06/2006 17:44

Did anyone try perineal massage with oil prior to giving birth and ended up tearing badly anyway?? And does perineal massage really help for 2nd-time mums who have had episiotomies and/or tears the 1st time round?

I'm expecting a 2nd baby in September and was wondering if it would make any difference at all if I did perineal massage this time round. I didn't do it the last time, ended up with an episiotomy + a 2nd degree tear.


If you've found this page in your search of the massage oils that have been recommended by fellow Mumsnet users, you might find our guide to the best massage oils useful. Hope this helps! MNHQ

OP posts:
squishy · 19/06/2006 20:14

What a good question, I've been wondering the same after reading something in the NCT magazine......

shhhh · 19/06/2006 20:21

I did try it when expecting dd and managed to do it about 2 times..I couldn't reach and it was hopeless dh doing it..he couldn't do it seriously iykwim..!!

Apparently it's meant to be good BUT word of warning it is quite hard to do it yourself and is not the nicest of things well imo...
Worth a try though.

mazzystar · 19/06/2006 20:22

we were seriously encouraged to try by antenatal yoga teacher. didn't fancy it much...and ended up with C-section anyway

teabags · 19/06/2006 20:26

I did, although not sure I did it properly. I just used to rub a bit of vitamin E oil 'down there' during the last 3 or 4 months of pregnancy.

It helped enormously.......I tore and needed stitches

shan't bother with this pregnancy!

Rhubarb · 19/06/2006 20:27

I tried because I tore badly after giving birth to dd and I wanted a home birth with ds, but the midwife told me that she wasn't qualified to do stitches and if the other mw on duty the day I went into labour wasn't qualified either, I could end up in hospital if I tore. So I really did try giving it a go, but I tore anyway, not badly but I needed stitches. Luckily for me the other mw could do them.

The trick apparently is also in how you push. Little frequent pushes are much better than large forceful ones, so if you can remember, try this.

beansprout · 19/06/2006 20:31

I was told by a midwife at a birth centre that it doesn't make that much difference. It's not just a case of massaging in a drop of oil but stretching yourself a lot to try and loosen things up. Once I found out what it really involved I went off the idea a bit... and ended up with a c-section anyway.

kayzed · 19/06/2006 20:33

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kayzed · 19/06/2006 20:34

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shazronnie · 19/06/2006 20:39

I did it with DS1, but don't know if i really had the technique right!
But I only had a tiny tear which needed no stitches or anything.

DS2 I didn't bother - apparently you're already baggy by no2! And I had no tears at all that time.

kate100 · 19/06/2006 20:44

DH did this for me when I was having ds1, I felt it was the least he cold do. It's definitely more of a stretch than a massage, there are instructions on the NCT website. DS1 was 9lb 11oz no tears, just a graze, so did the tric for me. Didn't bother with ds2, as I had SPD and couldn't get in the right position Blush even less damage with him though, maybe there was a lasting effect.

pupuce · 19/06/2006 20:46

Studies have demonstrated that it does make a difference in 1st vaginal births. It doesn't make so much of a difference in 2nd vaginal birth though. @nd tiners tend to tear less anyway.

As for having an episiotomy and tearing.... let me suggest the following home test Wink
Take a piece of paper and hold it at each end, wiggle it as to try to tear it... see how resistant it is... then cut a bit of it (in the niddle for example) and wiggle it again... and see how quickly it will tear... I am all for episio when necessary but when done routinely they actually increase tearing Sad... that's why the UK does less of tehm than some other countries.. it is one of the good things the NHS does !

The risk of tearing is much higher if you deliver on your back too!

pupuce · 19/06/2006 20:47

2nd timers I meant....

BagelBird · 19/06/2006 20:53

I had an episiotomy with DD1 - no pain, nasty bumpy stitches and scarring.
Used loads of olive oil massage 2nd time round as didn’t want a repeat performance. No episiotomy but really bad tearing, worse than first time, lovely stitching and healed faster although was classed as much worse tearing.

Pupuce- interesting about the birth on your back, hadn’t thought/heard of that but makes a lot of sense when you think about it. I gave birth lying on my back with both. Couldn’t be helped at that time as 1st was ventouse (very painful - what a con, all that talk of soft rubber cups..) and second was firmly stuck and was a bit like a stage version of the Giant Turnip, complete with all walks of medical staff pulling and pulling and pulling on my very large baby :)

NatalieJane · 19/06/2006 20:57

I didn't do it first time round - had never really heard of it - DS came out with his hand next to his ear in less than 15 minutes of pushing, and I didn't tear, don't know if I am just errr...stretchy Blush, or if the M/W I had was a diamond and worked wonders telling me when/how hard to push. No plans to try it this time round.

glassofwine · 19/06/2006 21:55

I tried when pg with DD1, but I hated the sensation so don't think I did it more then once or twice. had a big baby 8lb 15 oz, no stitches, no tear just a midwife pressing warm (sterile) flannel. No stitches or tear with DD2 or DS1 without kindly flannel waving midwife. I count myself lucky

nicnack2 · 19/06/2006 21:57

yesfor ds2 following a 2nd degree tear with ds1. Tore again but less.

sanchpanch · 19/06/2006 22:05

i would do it anyway what have you got to lose, i di for both my girls and no cuts with either, (some might say there is another reason for that)

moondog · 19/06/2006 22:08

I thought of it but was utterly freaked to read an article detailing how it should be done.
The woman who wrote it proudly confided that prior to birth, her dh could get his 'whole hand' inside her.


No doubt she was complaining six months later that he didn't find her attractive any more.

Would rather die than have dh do this to me!!

kayzed · 19/06/2006 23:00

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moondog · 19/06/2006 23:01

I know.
It horrified me!!!!

skerriesmum · 19/06/2006 23:50

Well dh used to like doing it as we would always finish up having sex Blush
Don't know if it helped as I still had an episiotomy but at least the sex brought on my labour, ds arrived practically on his due date!

eldestgirl · 20/06/2006 03:09

I didn't bother for DS1 - second degree tear, no stitches, healed well but a slightly "stepped" scar.
Did do it for DS2, only a few times, the fortnight before. He had a massive head and I think it worked as I only had a slight nick. Also had brilliant midwife who supported my perineum with a sterile hand, and I gave birth on all fours, which is supposed to help.

piglit · 20/06/2006 11:09

It didn't do anything for me. I tried it with both pregnancies and had an em section with ds1 and tore like billy-o with ds2 (who was early and small). It's really really uncomfortable if you do it right. It's not just a bit of gentle rubbing Wink but lots of stretching and pulling and generally very unpleasant.

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