Perineal warm compress – be sure to include in your birth preferences

Perineal warm compress – be sure to include in your birth preferences

Did you know that applying a warm compress on your perineum as you birth your baby’s head [or even bottom] can help reduce tearing? If you didn’t, you are not alone!

Despite reasonable amount of data supporting the use of warm compression to optimise perineal tissue for birth, the truth of the matter is that it’s not talked about much or always offered as an option for ALL vaginal births.

If we look very briefly on the general effect of heat / warmth on our bodies, we know that it help blood vessels dilate. This increases blood flow [oxygen-rich blood] to the affected area which in turn, relieves pain, improves tissue flexibility and stretch. This is exactly the conditions your perineal tissue need to promote healthy stretching as you birth your baby.

Indeed, findings from multiple research papers conclude that warm perineal compress:

  1. Improves chances of having an intact perineum [no tearing]
  2. Significantly less likely to have a more severe tear [known as 3rd or 4th degree]
  3. Reducing the likelihood of needing an episiotomy [a cut made to the perineum to widen the vaginal opening].

What’s not to love about this? Why not include this in your birth preferences…..

If you would like more information or simply talk about this in a bit more depth please don’t hesitate to contact.