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Perineal massage in pregnancy

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: (Published 29 September 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:753

Such massage significantly decreases perineal trauma at birth

  1. Michel Labrecque (, professor,
  2. Erica Eason, associate professor,
  3. Sylvie Marcoux, professor
  1. Department of Family Medicine, Laval University, Quebec, Canada G1K 7P4
  2. Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada
  3. Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Laval University
  4. St Mark's Hospital, Harrow, Middlesex HA1 3UJ

    EDITOR—Stamp et al's trial of the effect that perineal massage during labour has on perineal trauma adds to our knowledge about care of the perineum during childbirth,1 but their report of the results of our trial is erroneous.2

    We found an absolute increase of 9% in intact perineum in women who had not had a previous vaginal birth who were randomised to do antenatal perineal massage (24%, n=411) compared with the control group (15%, n=417). In the intention to treat analysis this difference was highly significant (95% confidence interval 4% to 15%; P=0.001).

    The difference was also clinically important: one case of perineal trauma requiring …

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