Perineal massage is gentle, manual stretching of your pelvic floor to prepare the muscles and skin between your vagina and rectum for the birth of your baby. The goal is to help woman to learn and overcome her fear about her perineum with the additional benefit to reduce the risk of extensive tearing and pain when she deliver.
It is thought that massaging the perineum during pregnancy can increase muscle and tissue elasticity and make it easier for a mother to avoid extensive tearing during a vaginal birth.
Typically, women are taught to spend about 5- 10 minutes per day doing perineal massage, starting at about 36 weeks of pregnancy. Women are taught to insert 1-2 lubricated fingers about 5cm into the vagina and apply pressure, first downward for 1 minutes, and then sideways for 1 minutes. The massage can be done by the woman or her partner, and coconut oil or olive oil is sometimes used for lubrication. If the woman has sensitive perineum, applying local anesthetic jelly, Xylocaine 2%, 2-5 minutes around the opening of the vagina before the massage, can help to make the session to be more comfortable. A tube of Xylocaine jelly 2% can be purchased from pharmacy at RM 70.