Minimizing postpartum pain: a review of research pertaining to perineal care in childbearing women
This paper provides a review of literature that relates to perineal pain and care. Articles evaluated include systematic reviews and research papers from the disciplines of midwifery, physiotherapy and obstetrics. The major themes to emerge from the literature and be reviewed are the need for episiotomy, suturing methods and materials, assessment of perineal trauma, treatment of perineum in the postpartum period, and postpartum recovery. Research has highlighted that many practices relating to perineal care remain un-researched and therefore the need for evaluation is urgent. Further postpartum morbidity has been seen to affect many women, but is often unrecognized by practitioners. It is also a topic that requires further evaluation through well-designed and implemented research.