Postpartum Perineal Care
Postpartum Perineal Care Overview
The perineum is the anatomic area between the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder, and the anus. In women, the perineum includes the vaginal opening. This area undergoes a lot of stress and change during pregnancy and delivery, and it needs special care afterward.
Many women have a surgical cut called an episiotomy when they deliver a baby. Because an episiotomy lets the baby pass more easily, it may lessen damage to the perineum during delivery. An episiotomy is a clean cut, rather than a tear, so it may heal better. Sometimes the skin tears anyway and needs special care.
Some women perform perineal massage during their pregnancy to try to prevent some of the pain and other problems after delivery. This method has not been shown to lessen or prevent any of the symptoms experienced after delivery.