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Perineal massage in the weeks leading up to delivery helps some women avoid episiotomy

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 16 March 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:0-e

Research question Does perineal massage help reduce perineal trauma?

Answer Yes. Women who massage their perineum during the last few weeks of pregnancy have fewer episiotomies than other women

Why did the authors do the study? Perineal tears and episiotomies are very common during vaginal deliveries, particularly among women having their first baby. Massaging the perineum in the weeks before delivery has been suggested to make the muscles more flexible, allowing them to stretch safely during the final stages of labour. These authors wanted to review all the randomised evidence on perineal massage to find out if it works and, if it does, which …

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