[To be carried out by the pregnant woman or partner]
1. Wash your hands thoroughly and apply a non-irritating lubricant to your finger. I recommend an oil such as olive oil, sweet almond oil, grape seed oil or jojoba oil as these will nourish the muscles as well as help you massage.
2. Place your fingers gently inside your vagina about 1- 1½ inches. Press down towards your anus until you feel a stretching sensation.
3. After about 2 minutes of sustained pressure, slowly, but gently begin pressing your fingers from the midline towards the sides of the vagina in a sweeping motion, while pulling back towards your anus. Continue for two minutes giving these muscles a good stretch.
Use this technique daily from weeks 36 onwards. Before 36 weeks you need your perineum to be tightening and strengthening, so carrying out this procedure before 36 weeks will create the wrong situation as it’s designed to soften and relax the muscles of the pelvis. Start with one finger and build up to two or more.
NB Please make sure that you do not massage the top of the vaginal opening as you may cause an infection in the urethra and bladder. Also do not perform if you have active herpes or other vaginal lesions, if the amniotic sac has ruptured/ your waters have broken or if vulvar haemorrhoids are present.
Helpful hint: Place your finger inside your vagina from behind… you’ll never reach around your belly if you go the front way!