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I did this religiously last time and I do believe it was helpful. My doctor told me she doesn't think i would've torn at all had it not been for baby's hand up near his head when he came out. I had DH do it for me everyday. This time I haven't done it at all and am suddenly wondering if i should have but now being over 35 weeks i'm kinda late to be starting! Also i've heard its most beneficial for your first baby but not sure how true that is.
I asked my MW about this when I was pregnant with my first (no real need since I've had c-sections since), but she said that there is certainly no harm in doing it and it could help, so if we wanted to and are comfortable with it, then to go for it. But, she also added that it may or may not have a real benefit. She tries to have all her clients do the really slow, shorter pushes as they crown and the head is delivered to avoid tearing and to try to let it stretch instead, and she said that, in her experience, that the moms who've done the massage have had the same odds of tearing as the moms who didn't. Again, it's one of those things that *could* be beneficial, so go for it if you want to, but even when done religiously, it won't guarantee against tearing!
*~*~ Katie; Mommy to 3 fun-loving boys and one sweet little baby girl! *~*~
I haven't and didn't do it with my first either, but my doc used mineral oil and perineal massage during labor as baby's head was coming out and I had no perineal tearing. Bless that woman! My recovery was non-existent, I felt 100% after giving birth, fingers crossed for the same experience this time around
I have heard that it is beneficial for the first baby, but you are already 'stretched out' for your second (third, fourth etc) and it really won't make any difference. I've never done it, but I've always torn a bit just because I have really short labours and the babies pop out really fast, lol.