Reducing perineal trauma through perineal massage with vaseline in second stage of labor
Purpose Maintaining an intact perineum is a highly regarded aim in delivery procedures today. Since perineal massage is a common practice during delivery, the present study aims to investigate the effect of perineal massage with Vaseline on perineal trauma (rate of episiotomy procedures and perineal tears). Method Ninety primiparous women (aged between 18 and 30 years with gestational age of 38-42 weeks) were selected sequentially in Tehran in 2009. Once participants' characteristics were registered, they were randomly assigned to the intervention (perineal massage with Vaseline) or control groups. In the massage group, perineal massage was performed in the second stage of delivery once the genitalia were treated with sterilized Vaseline. The perineum was examined after the delivery in terms of episiotomy or tear and its severity degree. Results The two groups were homogeneous in terms of demographic data, weight gain during pregnancy, gestational age, abortion history and fetal weight. The second stage of delivery was significantly shorter in the massage group than the control group and the massage group had significantly more intact perineum (P = 0.004). In addition, lower episiotomy and higher first- and second-degree perineal tears were seen in the massage group in comparison with the control one (P < 0.001). Neither of the groups suffered from third-and fourth-degree tears. Conclusion The findings showed that the perineal massage with Vaseline in the second stage of labor increases perineal integrity and decreases perineal traumas (episiotomy and tears). So, it seems that the perineal massage could be an effective way to preserve an intact perineum in labor.