Preparing for Delivery
You can prepare for birth crowning part before the actual event. Burns recommends perineal massage, which can reduce the risk of tearing as well as minimize the stinging sensation during crowning. It may even make an episiotomy -- a surgical cut in the perineum performed to facilitate childbirth -- less necessary.
The perineum is the area of skin between the vagina and the rectum, and perineal massage involves inserting a lubricated finger to stretch the vaginal opening for about 10 minutes per day, from the 35th week of pregnancy onwards. Burns also recommends placing hot washcloths on the perineum and around the vagina during the countdown to baby's arrival.