Irish and New Zealand Midwives' expertise at preserving the perineum intact (the MEPPI study): Perspectives on preparations for birth.

Women may experience short or long-term morbidity as a result of perineal trauma during childbirth. Episiotomy and severe perineal tear rates vary widely around the world. Episiotomy rates in New Zealand, as well as a trial of midwife-led care in Ireland, were found to be significantly lower than in many other nations in 2011. A study was conducted to determine how midwives in these nations and contexts attain such low rates.

The participants of the study were midwives with experience in preserving the perineum intact (PPI) from two maternity units in Ireland and a variety of birth settings in New Zealand. The study included a total of twenty-one consenting midwives, seven from Ireland and 14 from New Zealand.

The data was gathered using face-to-face, semi-structured interviews. Interviews were taped and transcribed. Data was then analyzed and organized into major themes. 'Sources of knowledge for PPI,' 'Associated factors,' 'Decision-making on episiotomy,' and 'Preparations for PPI' were identified as four themes in the study. In developing their own expertise for PPI, participants drew largely on a variety of sources of information.

Physical aspects of the perineum were found to be important contributors in the development of PPI. In most cases, episiotomy was only done when there were evidence of fetal distress. Perineal massage during pregnancy was found to be beneficial.

The results of this study adds to the evidence on this topic by providing useful insight into the perspectives and skills of midwives with experience in PPI at delivery.

Citation: Midwifery. 2017 Dec;55:83-89. 

[Awareness of the methods of primary and secondary childbirth trauma prevention among parturients].

[Article in Czech]

This research primarily aims to assess new moms' awareness of the primary prevention of pelvic floor problems after childbirth. In addition, it also aims to identify information sources, actually preventing delivery trauma, and attitudes toward pelvic floor muscle training.

The study was conducted in the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University Hospital and Medical Faculty in Pilsen, Charles University. It included 202 women who had a vaginal delivery at our center from June to December 2015. These women anonymously answered a six-question survey.

The study found that 83% of the respondents were aware of the possibilities of primary prevention of childbirth. First time mothers were more aware of this information. The Internet was the most common source of information while only 5% received information from their doctor. Despite the fact that most women are aware of the importance of postpartum trauma prevention, only about half of those polled actually practiced it.

Perineal massage was the most popular approach, vaginal dilatation balloons were used less frequently, and alternative procedures were employed by only 4% of women. 79 percent of women had done pelvic floor muscle exercises before giving birth, and 90 percent desired to exercise after delivery.

Mothers have a good understanding of primary and secondary prevention of pelvic floor disorders. However, the information provided by clinicians is insufficient. Despite widespread awareness, antepartum preventive techniques are not widely practiced. The survey clearly demonstrates the level of awareness and reality regarding primary and secondary prevention of pelvic floor problems.

Citation: Ceska Gynekol. 2017 Fall;82(4):327-332.


Influence of a pelvic floor training programme to prevent perineal trauma: A quasi-randomised controlled trial.

After birth, perineal trauma is common and can be caused by tears, episiotomy, or both. Perineal massage has been demonstrated to help first-time mothers avoid episiotomies. Pelvic floor exercises, on the other hand, may have an impact by shortening the first and second stages of labor. The purpose of this study was to see how pelvic floor training in birth programs affected perineal trauma.

The study was conducted in a tertiary, metropolitan hospital in Seville, Spain on women assigned into two groups: standard care and intervention.

Four hundred sixty-six women who were 32 weeks pregnant, pregnant with one baby, and expecting a normal birth were randomly assigned to one of two groups. From 32 weeks of pregnancy until delivery, women in the experimental groups were required to follow a pelvic floor training program that included daily perineal massage and pelvic floor exercises. Standard care was provided to the control group. Midwives collected these women in a labor ward.

The perineal/pelvic floor intervention resulted in a reduction in episiotomy and a higher likelihood of having an intact perineum in women who were assigned to this group. Third and fourth degree tears were similarly less common. Women in the intervention group also experienced reduced postpartum perineal pain and required less postnatal analgesia.

The study found that preventing episiotomies and rips in first-time mothers may be as simple as doing pelvic floor exercises and perineal massage. To reduce perineal trauma, this regimen might be advised to these women.

When compared to women who only got standard care, the pelvic floor program was associated with much lower rates of episiotomies and severe perineal damage, as well as a significantly greater intact perineum. The program is a safe and effective intervention that should be offered to all pregnant women starting at the 32nd week to prevent perineal damage.

Citation: Midwifery. 2017 Jul;50:72-77. doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2017.03.015. Epub 2017 Mar 27.

Link to publication


23 juillet, 2021