“Dr. Kecia Gaither is the Director of Perinatal Services at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln. “Some women may elect to prepare their perineum beforehand by gentle stretching with a lubricant months prior to the delivery in the hopes that it will make the skin in that region more malleable to delivering the fetal head without tearing— this technique is called ‘perineal massage’, or birth canal widening— it’s an age old practice,” she says. If this is going to work, she adds, you should not have any infections in the genital area (herpes, for example), and you should absolutely have clean hands and use a warm lubricant.”
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