Perineal massage, a practice often recommended for pregnant women approaching their due date, is a technique designed to prepare the perineum—the area between the anus and the vaginal opening—for childbirth. This massage aims to make the perineum more elastic and supple, potentially reducing the risk of tearing during delivery and the need for stitches. If your healthcare professionals recommends it, add perineal massage oil to the maternity checklist.
While this practice has ancient roots, it has gained modern popularity as a natural method to enhance the birthing experience.
There are a few perineal massage oils you can use to make the massage more convenient. One of them: coconut oil.
Benefits of using coconut oil for perineal massage
There are a few reasons you may consider coconut oil for perineal massage. Coconut oil is extracted from mature coconuts, is 100% plant-based free from harmful chemicals or synthetic ingredients. The medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil provide a silky texture and smooth consistency, forming a protective layer that reduces friction during massage. This minimizes discomfort, pain, or injury risks, and it's easily absorbed without leaving a greasy residue.
Why not use coconut oil for perineal massage?
While coconut oil is generally considered safe and beneficial for perineal massage, there are potential concerns to be aware of, including the risk of yeast infections. Coconut oil, being a natural oil, can potentially alter the delicate balance of vaginal flora. For some individuals, this can increase the risk of yeast infections, especially if they are prone to such infections. The oil creates a moist environment that can foster the growth of yeast.
Read more about the challenges of using coconut oil for perineal massage:
Alternatives to coconut oil
While coconut oil is a possibility, it is important to note various other oils such as almond oil for perineal massage in addition to olive oil, grape seed oil. Each has its own unique properties beneficial for perineal massage. Whatever you may decide, make sure you consultant with your healthcare professional about the right perineal massage oil for you before you start preparing your perineum for childbirth.
Note: perineal massage oils are not the same as essential oils. Read the post about essential oils in pregnancy to learn more.