I am delighted to bring you the final results of our latest one-off trial of Weleda Perineum Massage Oil.
This oil is designed to help mums-to-be prepare for birth. The small area known as the perineum (located between the vagina and the anus) plays a significant role in women’s health. The muscular tissue of the perineum connects with pelvic floor muscles, offering support to the pelvic organs. Tearing of the perineum during childbirth can weaken this support, making later pelvic floor problems or prolapse of the uterus more likely.
Our Testers were so impressed with this product we have decided to award it 2 TIPS Awards: Innovative and Editor’s choice.
Read more about this trial by clicking on the links below:
Weleda Perineum Massage Oil
RRP: £8.95 for 50mls (18p/ml)
Recommended for use after 34th week of pregnancy.
Suitable for vegans.
Supplied and manufactured by Weleda
Weleda's ethical and environmentally-friendly credentials are second to none. The information provided with all Weleda products is excellent. We carried out a one-off trial of Weleda Perineum Massage Oil to try and find out whether using this product during the final weeks of pregnancy could help reduce the chances of perineal tearing and also calm mums-to-be as they approached a vaginal delivery. Weleda Perineum Massage Oil is recommended for use after the 34th week of pregnancy. Mums-to-be can apply it themselves 3 or 4 times a week for 5 to ten minutes or they can ask their partners to help. Mums are advised to empty their bladder before each massage. Taking a bath before the massage may also be helpful - especially before using the oil for the first time.
Weleda Perineum Massage Oil is 100% certified natural by the international association NATRUE. It contains gentle almond oil and vitamin E rich wheat germ oil that is thought to increase the elasticity and stretchability of the perineum. The product scent comes from natural essential oils and is suitable for the sensitive area of the perineum. Testers agreed this delicate oil was easy to apply; this was a bonus as the perineum is not the easiest place to reach in late pregnancy! Some Testers said you needed to be quite determined to use the product, but the possible benefits were well worth the effort.
Massaging the perineum is a fairly new practice in the UK, whereas mums-to-be in other parts of Europe are more familiar with this. Testers were initially unsure whether Weleda Perineum Massage Oil would work but as the trial progressed their confidence in the product increased. All our Testers agreed they would recommend Weleda Perineum Massage Oil to other mums-to-be. Even Testers who experienced a tear said they felt slightly better prepared for their birth - this is a very positive result of using this product. Maybe perineal massage actually helped mums-to-be relax and prepare for their impending delivery. The Weleda Perineum Massage Oil lived up to our Testers' expectations and it is a welcome addition to the Weleda pregnancy and breastfeeding range. So we are delighted to award Weleda Perineum Massage Oil not one but two TIPS Awards: Innovative and Editor’s choice.
Here are some of the Testers’ comments:
- I still had a tear but it was nowhere near as bad as my first one. I also didn’t tear along my old scar line.
- It certainly helped me think that I had done something to help prevent tearing.
- I knew I was doing something to help myself, so felt better about the likelihood of tearing
- I do think it might have been a worse tear without the oil and massage.
- I would use it in a future pregnancy because I believe in the brand and it's designed for a specific use (and I like the ingredients).
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When considering products for testing, I aim to source what I believe to be the best products on the market. Where such a product is quite unique, I will set up a one-off trial - TIPS did this for the Kamillosan thermometer soother, the Shampoo Rinse Cup, Miracle™ Scarves, Miracle™ Bands, the Dribblebuster® bib, the Aquasolari bed pad, Ella’s Kitchen baby food, Bentley Organic toy sanitizer and the Swimava products.
I decided to set up a one-off trial for the newly-launched Weleda Perineum Oil as it does not fit into any other category of skincare products. Designed for use during pregnancy, this oil has unique properties. More and more mums-to-be practise perineal massage and I was keen to see whether this could really make a difference. There has been little reliable research carried out on the benefits of perineal massage, so I wanted to ask real mums-to-be how they felt about using perineal massage as a way to help them prepare for their vaginal deliveries. I also wanted to know whether the use of Weleda Perineum Massage Oil could make a difference to their emotional and physical wellbeing.
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For this trial we sent out 12 samples of Weleda Perineum Massage Oil to pregnant Parent Testers who were at least 34 weeks gestation. These mums-to-be were encouraged to use the Weleda Perineum Massage Oil for at least 5-10 minutes, up to 4-5 times a week (see guidelines below). They were asked to submit their detailed reviews in a questionnaire to be completed two weeks after the birth of their baby.
We used the same methodology and criteria we use when testing baby wipes and baby skincare products. This is described below.
Selecting the products - Manufacturers are asked to:
- include the following (or similar) statement in their marketing information whether on pack, in leaflets or online: “Recent research suggests that it is safer to use plain water for baby skincare for at least the first month of life”
- submit the full International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) list of chemical ingredients for each product to TIPS Ltd before any trial (ideally this list should be posted online on the company website so it is available for anyone to refer to). Full Latin names must be used and every ingredient must be listed
- agree to follow the TIPS principles of safe baby skincare practices. In line with the most up-to-date national guidelines, these principles are explained in the Babycare-back to basics™ leaflet. This information can be accessed online and printed copies are available on request. TIPS safe baby skincare principles must be promoted in advertising and marketing material.
Products will be excluded if they contain:
- Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS)
- Sodium Laureth Sulphate SLES)
- Parabens (Methyl, Propyl, Butyl and Ethyl Paraben)
- Propylene Glycol (PG)
- DEA (diethanolamine)
- MEA (monoethanolamine)
- TEA (triethanolamine)
- Methylchloroisothiazolonone (MIT) or Methylisothiazolinone (MIT).
Products may be excluded if they contain:
- Phenoxyethanol (preservative)
- Benzoates (Benzoic acid, sodium benzoate or parahydroxy benzoate)
- synthetic fragrances
- essential oils
More about Weleda Perineum Oil
A new arrival for the Weleda UK maternity range, Perineum Massage Oil is designed to help mums-to-be prepare for birth. The small area known as the perineum (located between the vagina and the anus) plays a significant role in women’s health. The muscular tissue of the perineum connects with pelvic floor muscles, offering support to the pelvic organs. Tearing of the perineum during childbirth can weaken this support, making later pelvic floor problems or prolapse of the uterus more likely.
First time mothers in particular can be extremely anxious about the possibility of tearing during birth or needing an episiotomy, and that fear can interfere with their confidence as they approach the second stage of labour (pushing). Estimates suggest that over 85% of women will have some degree of perineal tear during vaginal birth*. Massaging the perineum with a top quality and pure oil helps relax the cellular matrix and keep the connective tissues supple and elastic - our best protection against tearing. Massage also increases the perineum’s capacity to stretch more easily and less painfully during birth. Regular perineal massage has been shown to improve the skin’s elasticity and reduce perineal trauma. Studies** examining the effects of perineal massage during pregnancy confirm that “timely and regular perineal massages reduce the likelihood of perineal tearing or cutting during childbirth”.
Furthermore, through massage, a mother can quite literally get in touch with her pregnant body and understand its capabilities, so the prospect of labour becomes a little less daunting.
* Kettle and Tohill 2008 (Ottawa Hospital Research Institute); McCandlish et al 1998, British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 1998 Dec;105(12):1262-72.
** Source: Labreque, Eason, Marcoux et al 1999, American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (MIDIRS 1999, 9, 452); Shipman, Boniface, Tefft et al 1997, BritishJournal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (MIDIRS 1997).
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Guidelines for testing (these were supplied to all Testers)
Please read the following information before you start testing this product.
- Do not use the Weleda Perineum Massage Oil if you know you are allergic to any of the ingredients.
- We would like you to use the product from the 34th of pregnancy until delivery and to complete your questionnaire two weeks after the birth of your baby.
This is how we would like you to use the product:
- massage 3-4 times a week for 5-10 minutes (please see the Weleda leaflet for more information). Massaging after a relaxing bath or warm shower works best because blood vessels in the area are dilated: this makes the perineum softer and more comfortable to touch.
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Completing the questionnaire
For each product we have checked:
- the formulation
- recyclability of packaging
- where a product is made (manufacturing in the UK reduces a company’s carbon footprint).
Answers to questions on these topics are pre-filled in your questionnaire.
You will have to answer questions on the following topics:
- Design of product – did you enjoy the graphics?
- Information on product and online: does the manufacturer include a full list of ingredients online and on pack? Does the manufacturer give advice on using water-only for the first month in their marketing literature?
- Scent: does the product smell fresh or is it unpleasant? In order to be safe products should have minimal perfumes (preferably natural or organic in origin).
- Ease of use: is the product easy to dispense and easy to apply? Does it absorb into the skin without any stickiness or leaving any residue behind?
- Price: by calculating the RRP of each product then dividing it by the volume we get a cost per ml. This information is provided for each product but will not form part of the overall score. However this will give a good idea of cost-effectiveness although a little can go a long way so price may not be as important as you think.
- Adverse reactions: did you notice any adverse reactions when using this product (this may include rashes, spots or red areas caused by the product you are testing).
- Feedback: tell us about your favourite features, suggestions for modifications, and whether you would recommend this product
- Awards: you will be able to suggest an award from our recommended list
As you can see, there are many aspects of design and formulation to assess when testing this seemingly simple product. A quality perineum oil will fulfil all the needs of a mum-to-be and should:
- list all ingredients and ideally explain why these ingredients have been used – this information should be on-pack and online
- provide consumers with the latest advice on skincare
- be safe and gentle, even on delicate skin
- not include harsh ingredients or unnecessary additives
- be made in the UK from bio-degradable materials, and
- be sold in recyclable packaging.
This can only be achieved when manufacturers pay close attention to detail at all stages of the manufacturing process.
I hope you will find these guidelines useful when testing the Weleda Perineum Massage Oil.
Thank you again for all your hard work. You can be sure that your independent testing and comments will help to give parents the best and most unbiased advice available.
Sharon Trotter - Founder and Director of TIPS Ltd
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Disclaimer. TIPS Ltd is not responsible or liable for any failings of products that have been submitted for the testing programme. The responsibility remains with the individual manufacturer. Research is constantly changing and whilst every effort is made by TIPS Ltd to ensure the information contained in the guidelines is accurate and up-to-date, parent testers must still be encouraged to seek the advice of their midwife, health visitor, lactation consultant or GP if they have any concerns.
TIPS Ltd© 2015
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