During Aisling Bea’s epic Apollo live session, the comedian frustratedly protests: “we live in a world, where they have developed telephones, without plugs, that can send a picture of a cat from one side of the world to the other side of the world in under a second, and they are still trying to come up with faster telephones. Yet still, after 200000 years of humanity, we have not come up with a better way to have a baby child than to push something—the size of a bowling ball—out of my tiny hole!”
Indeed, this gone-viral rant must have resonated with so many women. Despite all physical discomforts and mental uneasiness an expecting mother endures prenatally, she must also be prepared for the even more challenging birth time. Research shows that 40% to 80% of women (and the number goes higher for first timers) experience some degree of tearing during vaginal birth. Among which, two-thirds will require stitches. And up to one in every ten women still experience pain many months after birth as a result of perineal tear or episiotomy.
Discouraging that might sound, it is not all inevitable. Maintaining a perineal massage routine as you approach the actual labor time can relax the surrounding muscles and lower the chances of bruising, tearing, or needing an episiotomy during birth. It can also help with postpartum recovery. Ideally, you can start around the 35th week and do it twice a week. Here is a step-by-step guide.
- First, we must familiar ourselves with what perineal massage is. Perineum refers to the area of tissues surrounding the vagina and those between the opening of the vagina and anus. A perineal massage aims to stretch the regional muscles to prepare them for a vaginal delivery. Like any other form of stretching, you’ll start noticing an advance in flexibility gradually.
- Perhaps you are tired of hearing this— “relaxation is the key.” Training both mind and body to be at ease will better prepare you for the task ahead. So before jumping to massaging the perineal area, make sure to relax yourself and stay comfortable. You can use Glo910+ with its Soft Massage head to gently relax and warm up the buttocks area. Adjust the intensity to how you like it.
- Thoroughly clean your hands. You might also rub your hands with natural oils and can also apply a few drops to the perineal area.
- Gently place your thumbs inside of the vaginal and move up about 3 to 5 cm.
- Start applying some pressure to the vaginal wall and towards the anus. Keep your fingers in this position, with enough pressure that the muscles feel the stretch, for about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Maintaining the downward pressure, start to slowly move your fingers down then up along the vaginal wall in a “U” shape motion. Keep doing this for 2 minutes.
- If you find this challenging to do by yourself, a partner can help, who should use their index fingers instead of thumbs. In either case, you should feel the stretch and pressure, even some tingling sensation, but not pain during the process.
- After you are done, use Glo910+ again, this time with either Soft Massage, Cellu-Active, or Cellu-Detox head, to massage the buttocks and the whole thighs. Doing this regularly, and it will pay off eventually!