Perineal massage?

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ecoberry1's picture
Joined: 01/08/10
Posts: 250
Perineal massage?

So, all of my pregnancy books, and now my birth class teacher are recommending perineal massage. I'm hesitant, however. First of all, I can't actually reach to do it myself properly. My partner is more than willing to assist me (eager, actually), but he's a working man and his fingers are always rough. And, he'd be getting turned on, but I'd probably be all hung up on the discomfort factor - you're supposed to do it until it kind of hurts. It seems like it would be more of a chore than a turn-on. Has anyone done it? Do you feel like it helped? Was it more like foreplay than a chore? Any input is appreciated.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4103

You're right, it did often turn into foreplay for DH, but I made it clear to him that it wasn't foreplay for me. Sometimes he was able to get me into a foreplay mood with other, nicer touches when we were done with the perineal massage, and sometimes I just said, thank you, and let him finish on his own. :oops: Don't worry about your DH's fingers being rough, you're going to use plenty of lube, my midwife recommended using castor oil because of the prostaglandins in it, can't enough of those! I can't tell you if it worked for me because I was unable to birth vaginally both times, but I have a friend IRL who birthed a 10lb 2oz baby with no tears, not even a skidmark, and she credits perineal massage along with instructions from her CNM to push between contractions instead of with them.

MrsMangoBabe's picture
Joined: 04/09/07
Posts: 2276

I didn't really do it the "recommended" way--I did it myself and just stretched the skin a little until it sort of started to sting a little, not really hurt. I never tried it with DH--I prefered to do it myself because I could stop before I it hurt me. It was helpful for me to get used to the feeling of that area stretching so that I wasn't surprised when I experienced it during crowning (and it felt exactly the same as the stinging, only on a much bigger scale) and didn't tense up in response. I do think it helped for that and I did not tear, but after my first birth I didn't with only 1st degree tearing, my CNM told me I probably would not tear next time. I did not do it frequently enough or stretch it enough to actually pre-stretch the skin like a lot of people say to do.

kvo's picture
Joined: 12/18/06
Posts: 902

We tried it during my first pg and it was terribly awkward. It was uncomfortable for me, which made it a turn off for DH. He felt really uncomfortable with causing discomfort in that area. I asked him about it this time, but I was already so uncomfortable with the reflux and back pain during my last trimester that I coudln't stand the thought of it.

I tore both times---2nd degree, so pretty badly. Part of that was my fault though b/c I pushed his head out in one long push (despite being told to slow down) just to get it over with faster. He was a big guy and his head didn't even cone....OUCH!

kridda_88's picture
Joined: 01/28/08
Posts: 1798

I LOVED it!! lol. I think i'm the odd one out of the bunch. DH would use it as forplay unless he could tell I wasn't in the mood. It hurt a little at first and then felt so good afterwords. It was so relaxing for me though. We used Primrose oil but we didn't start doing them until I was nearly 36 weeks. I honestly think it helped a ton with the birth. I ended up with an episiotomy though but no tearing. With DS1 We didn't do the perineum message and I had a 3rd degree tear.