This is going to get graphic....just a warning.
I am now reaching 35 weeks, so time to begin stretching the perenium. I tried to do this with DH last time and he felt really uncomfortable doing it b/c he was afraid of hurting me. I ended up trying to do it myself with little success and then just giving up. I did tear a bit despite Zoe being very small.
So this time, DH is willing to try again, but I am very tender there right now. Actually I'm worried about maybe having an infection. It's itchy and sore, more toward the back and butt area (where tearing would occur). Is it safe to do the stretching with olive oil even when sore and possibly having yeast?
The other question I have is about the inside and being able to feel the cervix. Since I've been tender and itchy, I've done a little checking around in the shower and the inside "ceiling" is very low. Forgive my stupidity, but I'm not sure if what I'm feeling is the cervix or not. There is still an opening, but the tissue in front of the opening is much lower than usual.
I am so embarrassed to even ask this, especially since I have a masters degree and have taken 2 semesters of human biology. You would think I could figure out my own body.
I can't help much because I have never done perineum stretching or cervical checks. I do think that if you mixed in with the olive oil some calendula that it would help by getting rid of anything itchy and sore down there. My midwives reccommend using calendula mixed with water to cleanse after birth and I have read that it is antifungal as well.
Mommy to three gorgeous girls
at 6 weeks 22/10/09
Well, I haven't gotten to the perineal massage, but I'm planning to start at 36 weeks and that's a good question! I'm like queen of YI even non-pg and have been having weird pain and itching lately too that after a bunch of research I think is/was an external yeast infection...that's new! And extra annoying especially since I've been taking probiotics, C, and echinacea like crazy for GBS prevention
Anyway, I think it's probably *safe*, just uncomfortable. You might want to get the infection cleared up beforehand or I can't imagine you'll be able to relax and open up very well--I certainly couldn't! The calendula is a good idea if you really want to get started now, though--might kill two birds with one stone.
No idea on the cervix, sorry. I'm tragically clueless about my inner workings too
My midwife is not a fan of perineal massage and I don't want cervical checks prior to birth unless past due ~ BUT, if you have irritation or itchiness or pain or swelling or anything like that I would probably keep any and everything out of there and get checked out. The last thing that you want to do is to exacerbate an infection unnecessarily.
I've heard that research evidence on perineal stretching in pregnancy is inconclusive, but hypnobabies recommends doing it so that you can get used to that stretching sensation and relaxing through it so that you won't tense up when you experience it during crowning. When this topic was brought up on the hypnobabies yahoo group, one of the hypnobabies instructors who drops in there occasionally said that you don't really need to do the full version of perineal massage as it is explained in the ICEA booklet that comes with the homestudy course, but a little gentle stretching--never to the point that it feels painful, can be helpful. This is what I did--I did it myself, one side at a time, and just stretched until I felt the stinging sensation.
You may not want to do it if you think you have an infection, though. I think I had an external YI once...same symptoms as you're describing...I just used a cream on it and it cleared up, but I wasn't pregnant at the time.
What you're describing from checking yourself sounds normal to me. Towards the end of pregnancy, the funnel shape of the cervix starts to widen and it gets very soft. It felt the same to me.
I did the perineum rubs and i honestly think it helped a ton. I did end up with a episiotimy anyway but i think that is do to the position i was pushing in. You should probably get the yeast infection taken care of before you have the baby because you can spread it to the baby when you are delivering. Thrushy baby's are no fun. My Dr. gives me this wonderful prescription for yeast infections it's amazing, it's Diflucan. As for doing one with the infection it wouldn't hurt anything probably just be uncomfortable. My advice though is as soon as you can switch from doing the rubs with olive oil to the primrose oil. I loved using that stuff for the perinuim rub.
DS1-7/18/08, DS2-2/23/10, DS3 1/18/12