This prospective study compared 29 nulliparous women who practiced perineal massage in the last 6 weeks of pregnancy with a control group of 26. Episiotomy and/or second degree (or greater) perineal laceration occurred in 48% of experimental subjects and 77% of controls. Chi square analysis showed a significant difference between the groups (p < 0.05). Perineal massage may be one technique that will decrease the need for episiotomy. Suggestions for further research are discussed.