Concerns around tearing during childbirth is a common fear during pregnancy, particularly for those experiencing childbirth for the first time.

But it doesn’t have to be your story. Research has shown that massaging your perineum from approximately 34 weeks gestation can reduce the chance that you might damage the perineum area during birth and help prevent tearing and bruising and the discomfort they bring in.

Antenatal perineal massage has also been found to aide your recovery after the birth.

Your perineum is the area between the vagina (birth canal) and the anus and rectum and is the area that stretches to allow your baby through in during childbirth.

During labour, natural birthing hormones will cause the perineum to stretch to accommodate the passage of the baby’s head (the largest part of the baby).

Although in some cases women will tear, or medical staff will perform an episiotomy (a surgical incision of the perineum and the posterior vaginal wall) when it has not stretched of it’s own accord.

Concerns around tearing during childbirth is a common fear during pregnancy, particularly for those experiencing childbirth for the first time.

In order to prepare and possibly prevent the need for an episiotomy, there are many products on the market designed to massage and stretch the perineum area in preparation for childbirth and the days following.

We’ve listed some of our favourites in the gallery below …

5 of the best products for perineum massage, stretching and care