Expert Advice

How Perineal Preparation Gives You Confidence

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Your vagina is magical! Did you know the same erectile tissue that composes the penis is also in your vagina? These cells and muscles are meant to both expand and contract, just like the penis does.

Preparing your perineum is a great way to give yourself confidence[1] that you can receive your baby in the most intact of ways. It’s a test run for the “ring of fire” – the intense stretching sensation that occurs just moments before your baby will be in your arms. You can design your prep as part of your birth planning.

It’s the slow stretch when your baby’s head is on your perineum that creates both the ring of fire sensation and prevents tearing. When your care provider delivers baby’s head very slowly, your tissue has time to adjust and reduces tears. More and more women are actively participating in the slow delivery method by using their own hands to apply counter-pressure to baby’s head.


Rub pure and organic olive, coconut, or sesame oil on your perineum and labia. Slide two fingers just inside your vulva at the perineum, and use them to firmly but tenderly stretch the skin and opening.

Take your time and use your mind to relax into the stretching sensation! This way, you get a taste of the burning sensation of baby’s head being born. Experiencing this during a relaxed pregnancy moment prepares you to use your breath and mind to work with the sensation during birth, and to allow your baby to come through slowly.

Practice for about 10 minutes each day.

Squatting helps not only stretch your perineum, it helps prepare you to use this position as an option during labor and birth. Many women want to push baby out while squatting because it’s more comfortable and can make the second stage of labor shorter[3]. But to be comfortable doing this during labor, you have to include it as part of birth planning. Incorporating squats into your daily pregnant life gives you many benefits, one of which is stretching the perineum.

Planning for birth is a broad-spectrum project. When you create your hospital bag checklist, include the version of your birth plan that says you want to use slow, controlled pushing to help stretch during labor and reduce tearing.

Adding a little massage and incorporating squats into your daily routine in your last weeks of pregnancy gives you a great chance for fulfilling your birth plan, and to feel your best after baby’s here.



To learn more about birth preparation, download our free Birth Plan eBook now. After three years of research, collaboration with more than 100 childbirth experts and resource centers from Healthy Child Healthy World to the American Association of Neonatal Nurses, the Best Ever Baby Birth Plan Guide is available for a free download.

This new resource for pregnant families is a compilation of top tips and advice from more than 20 nationally-recognized experts in the field including renowned pediatrician, Dr. Alan Greene and GraceFull Birthing founder, midwife Elizabeth Bachner.  These trusted experts offer thoughtful guidance for whatever type of birthing experience parents want, in whichever setting they choose.


Published: October 14, 2015 | Reviewed by: Kim Walls, Natural Products Expert, Elizabeth Bachner, LM, CPM, L.Ac., Midwife | Last reviewed: October, 2015



Kim WallsHow Perineal Preparation Gives You Confidence

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