Pregnancy & Childbirth can do a number down below, but don’t worry you will heal, and feel normal again, we promise you that much 💪
The skin & the muscles will be pulled & stretched from the weight of your baby, hormones can loosen the tissues, and the efforts of labour alone all cause strain on your vaginas skin & muscles.
We talked to Jenny Constable a leading specialist in women's health physiotherapy from Six Physio who gave us her top tips on how to perform the best perineal massage, PRE & POST baby - and yes we said POST BABY...👶
Clinical studies have shown links between perineal injuries during childbirth with the risk of incontinence, and reduced sexual function – so trust us, you want to look after this little piece of skin pre & post baby.
Most women (9 out of 10 actually) suffer from some sort of perineum tearing during vaginal childbirth. Don’t let this number scare you, there are things you can do to lower the risks.
Perineal massages have been clinically proven to lower the risk of tearing, and also reduces the risk of the most severs types of tears by nearly 20% (according to the NHS). So here at NESSA we believe this little massage is totally worth it👍
(Just in case there is any confusion, your perineum is that piece of skin between your vagina and bottom.) This little piece of skin is going a get a full workout during childbirth, so it is best you go prepared.
So whats the best technique? 🤩
According to Jenny from Six Physio the best time to start these massages is from 35 weeks. You are normally a little uncomfortable at this stage, and it can be hard to reach down there, so lie down somewhere comfortable, get a mirror, and get someone to help if you can 😊
Jenny's TOP TIPS:
- Make sure you have some natural, or even better an organic oil handy
- Ensure your hands, or partners hands are nice and clean
- Lubricate your fingers with a your oil
- Lie on your back, bringing you knees together towards your chest, and then open your knees like a book
- Using your thumb start by pressing down on the back wall of the vagina towards the anus, and use firm sweeping movements up each side of your vagina in a U-shape. - Imagine your finger is sweeping like a clock hand from 3 to 9 o'clock. Continue for 2 minutes
- Then apply firm pressure at 4,5,7 and 8 o'clock. Hold each stretch until you feel a slight stinging/burning sensation for about 1-2 minutes.
- RELAX 😮
Practice contracting and relaxing your pelvic floor muscles and then follow this relaxation with a further stretch to the perineum.
Over time you should aim to build up the intensity and duration of the stretches.
(a lovely visual to help you 😋)
Dont forgot Post Baby Perineal Massages 👶
Most of us have heard about pre-baby perineal massages during pregnancy, but when we spoke to Jenny, she reminded us NOT to forget about this area after childbirth, the same perineal massage has been proven to loosen out scar tissue that can form, help with dryness, tightness, and can boosts skin collagen, and encourages elasticity of the skin when done correctly.
We believe a happy vagina = happy mother 😁
Jenny also recommends the EPI-NO which was developed in Germany by an obstetrician and midwives, as a childbirth and pelvic floor trainer used to prepare the perineum, and reduce the risk of teas and episiotomey during vaginal birth. Research has shown that the EPI-NO can significantly reduce the risk of perineal tearing during labour.
Perineum massages PRE & POST childbirth will prepare the area, restore the skins natural elasticity, boost collagen, strengthen muscles, and hydrate the skin..
And here at NESSA, we want all mamas to love and care for their vaginas proudly.
Good luck ladies, and always look after your lady bits 😘