Perineal massage is the practice of massaging a pregnant woman's perineum around the vagina in preparation for childbirth. The intention is to attempt to prevent tearing of the perineum during birth, the need for an episiotomy or an instrument (forceps or vacuum extraction) delivery.
Randomized clinical trials of perineal massage have shown its effectiveness in reducing class two and three level tears to be on the order of 5 to 7 percent (over not doing the massage).
- Georgina Stamp, Gillian Kruzins, Caroline Crowther. Perineal massage in labour and prevention of perineal trauma: randomised controlled trial. BMJ. 2001 May 26; 322 (7297): 1277–1280
- Labrecque M, Eason E, Marcoux S. Randomized trial of perineal massage during pregnancy: perineal symptoms three months after delivery. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2000 Jan;182(1 Pt 1):76-80.
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