At your evaluation, you and your physical therapist will discuss birth strategies and perineal preparation with regards to your specific history and birth preferences.

For most women, we recommend BEGINNING PERINEAL PREPARATION around the 34th week of pregnancy.

If you have any of these risk factors we recommend AN EVALUATION earlier in pregnancy. please contact us for specific guidance.

Discussion topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Anatomy of the pelvic floor and changes that occur during vaginal birth

  • Birthing positions to minimize orthopedic injury and perineal lacerations, supported by research and clinical experience

  • Education regarding the purpose and technique of perineal preparation, including instruction in how to perform it yourself or with a partner if desired.

If appropriate, an internal pelvic floor muscle exam will include:

  • Evaluation of your pelvic floor motor control - your ability to voluntarily contract and relax your pelvic floor muscles, as well as the ability to push as required for vaginal birth.

  • Evaluation of your perineal flexibility and muscle tone - how easily your perineal muscles tolerate stretch in response to gentle pressure.

  • An abbreviated perineal preparation session, to begin the process of learning how to open into the sensations of vaginal birth.