The perineum is the skin and muscles in between your vaginal opening and your anus. Evidence suggests that regular massage of this sensitive area during the third trimester can reduce the likelihood of injury to that area during birth, especially in women who have not yet given birth. 

Many women find that massage of the perineal area is comfortable to do by themselves or with their partner if they feel happy to do so. The massage stretches the perineal area to help you to get ready for birthing. 

Most women begin perineal stretching at around week 34 of pregnancy. All you need is clean hands, short nails and perhaps some unscented oils. Some people like to use vegetable or vitamin E oils. It’s not advised to use baby oil or petroleum jelly (like Vaseline). 

A mirror and a comfortable pillow to support yourself may also be useful. 

A step by step guide to perineal massage can be found on the NCT website.