The effects of perineal management techniques on labor complications

Fariba Fahami, Zohreh Shokoohi, Mariam Kianpour


  • BACKGROUND: Many women suffer from perineal trauma during the normal vaginal delivery. Perineal trauma is mainly associated with pain and complications after the childbirth. Perineal management techniques can play a significant role in perineal trauma reduction. This study aimed to compare the effects of perineal management techniques (hands-off technique, Ritgen maneuver and perineal massage using a lubricant during delivery) on the labor complications.
  • METHODS: This quasi-experimental clinical trial was conducted on 99 primiparous women who referred to Daran Hospital, Isfahan, Iran for normal vaginal delivery in 2009. The subjects were selected using a convenient method and randomly assigned to three groups of Ritgen maneuver, hands-off technique and perineal massage with lubricant. A questionnaire was used to determine the demographic characteristics of the participants and complications after birth. The short form of McGill Pain Questionnaire and the visual analogue scale for pain were also employed. The incidence and degree of perineal tears were evaluated immediately after delivery. Moreover, the incidence and severity of perineal pain were assessed 24 hours and also 6 weeks after delivery.
  • RESULTS: In the Ritgen maneuver group, the frequency of tears, the relative frequency of tear degrees, the severity of perineal pain 24 hours after delivery and the frequency of pain and perineal pain severity 6 weeks after delivery were significantly different from the other two methods.
  • CONCLUSIONS: Hands-off technique during parturition of the neonate's head was associated with fewer complications after delivery. It was even better than perineal massage during the parturition.
  • KEY WORDS: Labor complications, hands-off technique, Ritgen maneuver, perineal massage, tearing, pain.

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