Pelvic Floor Massage Over Perineal Massage…Perspectives from a Pelvic Floor Therapist


If you’re pregnant this is for you…

Chances are you have heard about perineal massage as a way to reduce the risk of perineal tearing during labor… 

I suggest pelvic floor muscle massage instead! Here is the difference and why I don’t recommend perineal massage…

Perineal massage involves massaging the skin between the vaginal opening and anus, aka your perineum. The idea is that if the skin is softer due to regular massage in the 3rd trimester it will stretch better during labor and therefore reduce the risk of tearing. 

Unfortunately, this is simply not how skin works. When you massage skin the pliability of that skin is only increased slightly and the effect goes away within minutes. So massaging your perineum in the weeks leading up to labor is unlikely to make a big difference despite the big effort on your part. 

Pelvic floor muscle massage on the other hand, has a direct correlation to labor progress. The pelvic floor is the stop light for labor and tightness in the pelvic floor is often the culprit of a long labor (not always) because the muscles are not able to relax and move out of the way for the baby. This creates increased pressure down on the perineum, elevating the risk of perineal tearing. 

When pelvic floor muscle massage is conducted during pregnancy the pelvic floor muscles have reduced tension and are better able to relax during labor. This can result in a smoother labor progression and reduction in pressure on the perineum, therefore reducing the chance of perineal tearing. 

 How do you do pelvic floor muscle massage? My advice is to consult with a pelvic floor therapist specializing in pregnancy- this can even be taught virtually! Just like your massage therapist can find all your knots that you didn’t even know you had, then help you get them out for you; a pelvic floor therapist can find all the areas of tightness in your pelvic floor muscles, help reduce the tension and teach you techniques for relaxing the pelvic floor at home and during labor. In the case of conducting this virtually, I am well versed in guiding virtual clients through identifying for themselves the tight areas (off camera of course), and teaching you how to release these areas! 

If this sounds like something you’re interested in learning more about, let’s connect on a consultation call. CLICK HERE to schedule! 

I also suggest checking out Aligned with Birth! A self-paced mini course that will teach you how to balance your body for a better birth through the use of easy to learn and easy to incorporate into your daily routines movements. CLICK HERE for details! 


About Me

Aloha! I’m Hilary.
I founded my own business to support women more effectively as a coach and doula. At Mama Wellness Weekly and HV – Holistic Health, I use my expertise to empower women on their wellness journeys. Thanks for stopping by!


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