• perineal management;
  • genital trauma;
  • second stage labor;
  • perineal lacerations

Genital tract trauma is a common outcome of vaginal birth, and can cause short-term and long-term problems for new mothers. Preventive measures have not been fully explicated. Midwives use a variety of hand maneuvers late in the second stage of labor, in the belief that genital trauma can be reduced. However, none of these care measures have been rigorously tested to determine if they are effective. A midwifery practice offers an ideal setting to study the relationship of hand techniques by the birth attendant to reduction of genital tract trauma.