Reduced Pain and Quicker Delivery
The vaginal region goes through many changes prior to giving birth. The body will release a hormone called relaxin to loosen the joints and muscles for easy delivery. However, giving birth to a large baby or giving birth for the first time stretches the vaginal muscles to their limits. This could lead to perineal injuries. A soft, elastic perineum helps ease the baby out during delivery, making the entire process of childbirth easier and quicker than normal.
Massaging the perineum boosts blood circulation in the vaginal area. Better blood circulation improves the muscles’ ability to stretch and accommodate the baby’s head.
Reduces Episiotomy and Injuries
In normal childbirth, the doctor or midwife would ease the baby’s chin and head out of the birth canal. But there are cases when the opening is not wide enough to accommodate the head or shoulders of the baby. In such cases, the doctor would perform a procedure called episiotomy . The doctor would make a small incision in the perineum to open up the perineum as the baby is being pushed.
An episiotomy will require anesthetic to numb the area unless an epidural or other anesthetics have been administered prior to giving birth. After the placenta is delivered, the doctor would stitch the perineum using dissolvable sutures.
Perineal massage before birth may minimize the risk of perineum injuries, especially among first-time moms. A study found that women who massaged their perineal muscles prior to giving birth are less likely to require an episiotomy. Researchers said that it helps reduce episiotomies by up to 16%  for first-time mothers. Experienced mothers who massaged their perineum before giving birth reported less pain 3 months after the recovery period.
Decreased Risk of Spontaneous Perineal Tearing
A spontaneous perineal tear refers to the laceration of the skin and other soft tissues of the perineum during vaginal childbirth. This condition is classified into first-, second-, third-, and fourth-degree tears.
A first-degree tear is the minor tearing of the perineal skin. A second-degree tear involves the tearing of the skin and perineal muscle. The third-degree tear involves the tearing of the fourchette, perineal skin, vaginal mucosa, muscles, and anal sphincter. A fourth-degree tear involves the fourchette, perineal skin, vaginal mucosa, muscles, anal sphincter, and rectal mucosa.
Minor tearing may require no treatment or stitches. Severe tears could cause profuse bleeding, long-term pain, infections, and in extreme cases, dysfunction. Severe cases of spontaneous perineal tearing may require surgical repair.
Perineal massage may decrease your risk of spontaneous perineal tearing. The massage aids in the quick delivery of the baby that contributes to maintaining an intact perineum .
Faster Recovery from Childbirth
After giving birth, most women experience pain and swelling of the perineum. Recovery is slower for moms who had an episiotomy.
Regular perineal massages in preparation for childbirth can speed up healing after giving birth. When the perineum is soft and elastic, the muscles can withstand the trauma caused by delivering a baby, allowing a new mother to bounce back immediately after giving birth.