Massage is often used as a stimulating measure in labour as it makes one’s body release endorphins that are responsible for feeling relief, it also has mood-lifting effect. Massage is especially important if you are having contractions and tired. It also works like an effective pain reliever. Below are some instructions on how massage a woman in labour
How to massage a pregnant woman in labor
You might ask, is massage in labor necessary at all? Some women really don’t feel comfortable if they are touched during contractions. You might not like massage in general. Also, if your partner is not experienced, flexible enough, you may feel disappointed.
The slightest touch can cause unbearable feelings. Though massage is usually helpful for pregnant women. The birth partner needs to understand that massage techniques applied in the early stages of labour may be useless in the later stages.
For labour pain management, various body positions are used. Every position has its own effect on the woman’s mood and health condition. In most cases, women need their shoulders to be smoothed or lower back pressed.
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This massage position implies that you relax your shoulders to breathe deeply and rhythmically. Deep breathing is helpful in maximizing the oxygen reaching your baby, and this is the main goal of the shoulder massage. If you are not relaxed during labour, you might feel a tension in the neck and shoulder area.
Lower back massage
A pregnant woman in labor often feels contractions in her lower back, so this kind of massage may be extremely helpful.
In the early labour, the whole back, from shoulder to bottom, is massaged, and in the advanced labour, the base of the spine is usually massaged. Make sure the whole hand of your partner including heel, fingers and flat are used to contact your skin. This way he/she can feel the tension in your body.
If during the day you walk by foot a lot, you might need some foot massage. Even if you do not really like having your feet touched, a firm foot massage can still be enjoyable. A gentle massage is not the best option in these circumstances as it can be very ticklish. If the feet are swollen, a firm foot massage is much more helpful.
A good soothing hand massage is as important as any other kind of massage in labor. When all the above mentioned body parts are massaged; then the hands should be massaged, starting with the shoulder and ending with the fingers making circles over the palm and pulling the fingers.
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The benefits of massage in labour
When talking about the benefits of massage in labor, they are numerous but here is a list of the most important of them:
- Natural pain-killer
- Reducing tension and anxiety
- Releasing endorphins
- Assisting contractions
- Improving muscle flexibility
- Improving circulation
- Improving water retention
- Promoting a sense of well-being, and calmness.
Are massage oils safe during labour?
The massage oils are used like the labor massage tools to make the process more pleasant and soothing. Given the fact that oils themselves have relaxing and calming properties, oils like bergamot, Chamomile, neroli, rose, and ylang-ylang are especially good choices for pregnant women in labor. As essential oils are powerful substances, you might need to consult an accredited aromatherapist to make sure that the oils you choose will not be harmful to the pregnancy.
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Who can massage a pregnant woman in labor?
Massage should be performed by an educated and trained person. It may be a massage therapist, midwife, doula, or your birth partner. You can practice the massage techniques with the birth partner at home. If he doesn’t possess the needed skills, he can buy a course on the Internet or in the store.
Also, your midwife can help your partner by explaining the basics of massage demonstrating how to use massage techniques.
Massage is a very helpful and natural measure applied in labour. It can relieve labor pain between contractions.