Perineal Massage for Birth

If you’re worried about tearing, you may find practising perineal massage to be beneficial in preparing for birth.

Practising massage on your perineum from 35 weeks of pregnancy can be beneficial for preparing yourself for labour. Not only does it get you used to the feeling of your perineum stretching but research shows it can reduce your chances of tearing or needing an episiotomy during birth.

What is the perineum?

The perineum is the area between the vagina and the anus which stretches when you give birth to your baby.


Why should I practice perineal massage?

Massaging this area while hapū can be beneficial for getting you used to the sensation of it stretching and prepares the area for stretching during birth. Doing so regularly (five minutes, two or three times a week from 35 weeks) can reduce your chances of tearing or having an episiotomy, therefore reducing pain postnatally.


How do I do it?

Ask your LMC for advice on how to correctly and effectively do perineal massage. Alternatively, National Women’s Health has a leaflet the benefits and how to do it that you can read.