If you aren't yet familiar with perineal massage, don't feel bad - unfortunately, you won't find perineal massage mentioned on many Pregnancy To-Do lists. But, no need to worry, its never too late to learn about this beneficial, ancient practice of daily massage that aims to stretch and relax the birth canal before delivery. When performed in the last several weeks of pregnancy, studies show that perineal massage can decrease: 1) the incidence of trauma to perineal tissues; 2) the need for episiotomy, during childbirth, and 3) post partum pain during sex.
If your due date is approaching, be sure to add daily perineal massage to your own Pregnancy To-Do list. And, to help you accomplish this important goal, we are proud to introduce BabyIt - the first and only isotonic, paraben-free, and pH-balanced gel specifically designed to be used during perineal massage.
And, once you've delivered your beautiful bundle of joy, use BabyIt to soothe and sore, swollen, bruised, and healing tissues. BabyIt can also be used to moisturize and calm your baby's dry skin.
What is Perineal Massage and Why Do I Need to Do It?
First things first, let's talk a bit about our anatomy. In women, the perineum includes the area at the back of your vagina and vulva and goes to your anus and rectum. Specifically, the perineum includes the back portion of the birth canal.
It is easy to go through life without thinking much about your perineum. However, without these rigid, firm perineal tissues that create a strong pelvic floor, we would not be able to walk upright, and we would pee every time we cough or sneeze. And, while these tissues need to be intact and strong, they also need to be flexible enough to stretch during childbirth to allow the baby to move through the birth canal. Unfortunately, the perineal tissues of many women lack flexibility and aren't able to stretch during delivery. As a result, many women experience perineal trauma during childbirth. The perineal trauma can cause tears, or the need for an episiotomy (a surgical cut), both of which may require suturing to heal, and they often cause scarring and pain after childbirth, which can negatively impact future comfort and sexual function. Some tears can even result in incontinence of gas, urine or feces.
The good news is that just 5 minutes of perineal massage each day during the last several weeks of pregnancy has been shown in numerous clinical studies to decrease the incidence of trauma to perineal tissues, as well as the need for episiotomy, during childbirth; and the incidence of post partum pain during sex. In fact, perineal massage is commonly used in many European and other countries specifically to optimize healthy birthing outcomes.
The goal of perineal massage is to make the tissues at the back side of the vaginal opening flexible and supple, so that they naturally expand during childbirth. Perineal massage increases the flexibility of the perineum and decreases its resistance during labor, which enables the birth canal to stretch at delivery without tearing or requiring an episiotomy. You can perform perineal massage on yourself or your partner can do it with you. And, again, a few minutes every day is all that is necessary to help these tissues stretch and relax in preparation for childbirth. Using BabyIt can make perineal massage more comfortable and help to hydrate perineal tissues so they remain soft and supple.