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Extracted from Survival Guide to Midwifery, 2nd Edition (2012) Diane M. Fraser and Margaret A. Cooper, Oxford; Churchill Livingstone: 2012. Courtesy Elsevier
The perineum is the region between the vulva and the anus. In the second stage of labour, the perineum distends as the baby's head descends towards the vulva. The majority of women who have a vaginal birth will sustain some degree of perineal trauma, either from a spontaneous perineal tear or episiotomy or both. (See Episiotomy).
Spontaneous trauma may be of the labia anteriorly, the perineum posteriorly or both. A gentle, thorough examination must be carried out to assess the extent of the trauma accurately and to determine who should carry out the repair.
The Practising Midwife featured articles
Enhancing postnatal perineal care 2012; 15(6): 26 - 28 Author: Judith Stolberg
Hands-on or hands-poised: what does the evidence say? 2015; 18(7): 10 - 12 Authors: Petra Petrocnik, Jayne Marshall
Advancing Practice: Perineal protection 2015; 18(7): 14 - 16 Suyal Steinhauer
Midwifery Basics: 7. Perineal suturing 2016; 18(4): 29 - 32 Blease M, Taylor K;
Royal College of Midwives. (2012) Evidence Based Guidelines for Midwifery-Led Care in Labour: Care of the perineum. https://www.rcm.org.uk/sites/default/files/Care%20of%20the%20Perineum.pdf