How you may be able to avoid an episiotomy.
As many as 35 percent of vaginal births involve an episiotomy. But women may be able to avoid this incision by massaging the perineum during the last month of pregnancy. Australian researchers reviewed studies in which women were taught to massage the perineal area beginning around the 34th week of pregnancy. The women had a 15 percent lower episiotomy rate, and some reported less perineal pain in the months following birth.