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Minerva Ginecologica 2015 June;67(3):289-96


language: English

Management of the second phase of labour: perineum protection techniques

Laganà A. S. 1, Burgio M. A. 2, Retto G. 1, Pizzo A. 1, Granese R. 1, Sturlese E. 1, Ciancimino L. 1, Chiofalo B. 1, Retto A. 1, Triolo O. 1

1 Department of Pediatric, Gynecological Microbiological and Biomedical Sciences, University of Messina, Messina, Italy; 2 School of Midwifery, University of Messina, Messina, Italy


The obstetric experience alongside scientific evidences in literature indicate several management techniques during the expulsive period of labour to minimize obstetric complications. Among the various methods that can be used for the protection of the perineum during the expulsive phase, some are performed prepartum (perineum massage), while most are used during childbirth. Among the second group, progressively increasing importance is assumed by the manual techniques to protect the perineum (using the “hands-on” and “hands-off”) and by episiotomy. These techniques, when used in accordance to the guidelines, may favour the reduction of adverse outcomes for both the mother and the newborn, both immediately after birth and after a longer time. The midwife should be aware of the evidences in literature so that a critical analysis of the available techniques can be made and put in action during the expulsive phase in order to protect the mother and the foetus from any unfavourable outcomes. Currently, clinical evidence in literature is directing obstetric and medical staff towards a careful analysis of the maternal-foetal parameters, in order to achieve a precise assessment of the risks factors of intrapartum and postpartum outcomes. Increasingly, there is the need for close collaboration between the midwife and medical staff to ensure proper personalized assistance based on the peculiar characteristics of the woman and the fetus.

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