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Systematic review and meta-analysis
Antenatal perineal massage decreases risk of perineal trauma during birth
  1. Marie Hastings-Tolsma
  1. Division of Women, Children & Family Health, University of Colorado Denver, College of Nursing, Aurora, Colorado, USA
  1. Correspondence to : Professor Marie Hastings-Tolsma, Division of Women, Children & Family Health, University of Colorado Denver, College of Nursing, 13120 East 19th Avenue, PO Box 6511, Room 4315, Aurora, CO 80045, USA; Marie.Hastings-Tolsma{at}ucdenver.edu

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Implications for practice and research

  • Pregnant women who have not yet experienced vaginal birth should be informed about the benefits of antenatal perineal massage.

  • Conditions where antenatal perineal massage may benefit women who have already experienced vaginal birth, needs further exploration.

  • The additive value and acceptability of intrapartum perineal massage, including its effect on immediate postpartum pain, dyspareunia and incontinence, should be assessed.

Context

Upwards of 70% of women experience perineal trauma during childbirth.1 Concern over such trauma is significant for pregnant women, particularly for those from ethnic minorities, where cultural differences have been found to increase worry about possible intervention, pain and discomfort associated with birth.2 Anecdotal reports have long suggested that performing perineal massage during pregnancy and labour is …

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