Starting at week 34 or 35 of pregnancy, a woman (or her partner) can start massaging the perineum 1–2 times per week, with each session lasting for a maximum of 5 minutes.
There are several different techniques of perineal massage. All generally involve the insertion of one or two lubricated fingers (or finger and thumb, or both thumbs) approximately 5 cm (2 in) into the vagina and applying gentle pressure downward (toward the anus) and to the side of the vagina until a very slight tingling or burning sensation is felt. The stretch is held for about 2 minutes and then the fingers are repositioned (see Consumer resources).
The massage is performed in a seated, lying or standing position with legs apart – whatever feels comfortable for the woman.
Massage oil (sweet almond oil) or water-soluble vaginal lubricants (K-Y Jelly) can be used.