Perineal massage

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Perineal massage is the practice of massaging a pregnant woman's perineum around the vagina in preparation for childbirth. The intention is to attempt to prevent tearing of the perineum during birth, the need for an episiotomy or an instrument (forceps or vacuum extraction) delivery.

Randomised clinical trials of perineal massage have shown its effectiveness in reducing class two and three level tears to be of the order of 5 to 7 percent (over not doing the massage).

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