I was poking around the info section at birthing class last night, checking out the goods. There were brochures for breastfeeding and postpartum depression, websites for labor doulas - the usual. Then I noticed a pale blue pamphlet with a photo of a pregnant belly on the cover. "Pamper and Prepare: A Guide To Perineal Massage". Hey, massage! I loves massage! And since I happen to enjoy being both pampered and prepared I figured this was right up my alley. So I opened the brochure.
First off, "massage" has nothing to do with this bullshit. PAINFUL VAGINAL STRETCHING. Since my approach to labor and delivery has been of the head-in-the-sand-variety it comes as no surprise that I tend to ignore the fact that a very large object - with shoulders! - is soon to exit my... area. The thought behind perineal "massage" is that by stretching the area beforehand, there's less chance for Ouch. Fine! Good! I'm all for eliminating the Ouch. But peeps, after reading the instruction manual (and checking out the visuals! OH GOD, THE VISUALS) I may never go near that area ever again.
- Sitting in a comfortable position with your legs apart, similar to a semi-sitting birthing position, place some balm on your fingers and thumbs as well as around your perineum (the area between your vagina and anus).
- Insert your thumbs (!!!) into your vagina and press the area down and to the sides. Keep stretching the area until there is a slight burning sensation.
- Continue holding the stretch until you no longer feel any tingling. It should subside after a few minutes.
- When there is no more tingling, massage the lower part of your vaginal canal with a back and forth motion. At the same time, clasp your thumbs onto the sides of your vaginal canal. Mimic the action of your baby's head during birth by gently pulling the vaginal tissue forward. Hold this position for a few minutes...
(And so forth.)
Thumbs! THUMBS! Not to mention the burning and stretching! I'd be happy to email you the accompanying graphic if you enjoy recoiling in horror.
Seriously, every option for getting this kid out sounds awful. (Don't get me started on what I learned about the epidural...)