You are expecting a baby? Congratulations!
An exciting time lies ahead. Although life carries on as normal, everything is different. You experience yourself and your body from a completely new perspective when you are pregnant. It is especially important at this time that you feel comfortable with yourself. This will also benefit your child.
Preparation for the birth
The perineum has a lot to do during the final phase of the birth. Specific preparations will help.
Prepare for the birth: with Perineal Massage Oil. Particular strains are placed upon the perineum during birth. Since most women hope for a gentle birth without an episiotomy we recommend perineal massage in preparation for the birth.
Perineal massage makes the skin soft and elastic. Make regular use of the oil as of the 34th week of pregnancy. Massaging with this special composition based on mild almond oil and vitamin E-rich wheatgerm oil loosens the perineal tissue and increases its elasticity. In addition, massaging stimulates the blood circulation thus increasing the suppleness of the tissue. The gentlemixture of natural oils is tailored to the perineal region.
Scientifically proven: An evidence-based study has proven that antenatal perineal massage (at least once or twice a week as of 35 weeks at the latest) significantly reduces the frequency of perineal suture and episiotomy. It also reduces perineal pain after the birth. Perineal massage thus makes a lot of sense. *
Regular massage will enable you to be optimally prepared for the birth. Allow yourself 5-10 minutes three to four times a week starting 6 weeks before the birth in order to make this sensitive area of the body more flexible.
Preparation: Before you begin with the massage, we recommend you go to the toilet, carefully clean the area and wash your hands and fingernails. Ensure that the perineum is easy to reach: lying down, squatting or standing with one leg raised. Breathe calmly during the massage and try to relax your pelvic floor.
Loosening massage: Pour some perineal massage oil into your hands and allow it to warm. Apply the oil in circles along the outer labia and then to the area between the vagina and the anus with the tips of your fingers. Place the tip of your thumb into the vagina. With your fingers massage the inner and outer perineal area between the imaginary lines of 3 and 9 o’clock (Figure 1), first in a circular pattern and then, increasing the pressure and for about 1 minute in a pendular pattern (Figure 2).
Stretching massage: Place the whole thumb into the vagina and, on an outbreath, stretch the tissue towards the anus. Repeat this in a radial pattern (Figure 3). A second exercise is to arch the perineum downwards and outwards with your thumb (Figure 4). Repeat this stretch between the imaginary lines of 3 and 9 o’clock too. You will feel a pull and resistance to the stretch which should not be painful.
If you are unsure about using the massage oil ask a midwife in confidence.
* Source: Beckmann, M.M and Garrett, A.J. (2006). Antenatal perineal massage helps reduce both perineal trauma during birth and pain afterwards. (Cochrane Review). (The Cochrane Library, Issue 1).
[In addition to the perineal massage, Christina Hinderlich, Weleda’s midwife recommends squatting – while on the telephone or reading
Stand with your feet flat on the floor and squat down with your knees spreading outwards. The inside of your pelvis and the tissue around the vagina will thus be loosened. It is important that your feet are flat on the floor, otherwise it could result in tension in the area around the pelvis.
If you find squatting difficult, try initially with some cushions on the floor. It is best to practise with a table or a wall to steady you if you have problems with your balance. If it is comfortable you can also massage the perineum whilst squatting.
Suitable for vegans.
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