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Medical News and Perspectives
March 22/29, 2006

Massage During Last Weeks of Pregnancy Reduces Episiotomies During Delivery

JAMA. 2006;295(12):1361-1362. doi:10.1001/jama.295.12.1361

Last May, a literature review in JAMA concluded that routine episiotomies during childbirth do not improve maternal outcomes and may cause harm (Hartmann K et al. JAMA. 2005;293:2141-2148). The authors emphasized the need for research on techniques to prevent episiotomies or tears to the perineum during vaginal delivery. Now, a recent review in The Cochrane Library provides evidence in favor of one such technique—a simple, patient- or partner-administered perineal massage during the final weeks of pregnancy.

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