Massage during labour

A really effective way to create relaxation during labour is through touch. Massage will stimulate your body to release endorphins, which are the body's natural pain killers and mood lifting hormones. The touch of someone who loves you and wants to help you is very comforting and empowering when you're working through your contractions.

During pregnancy experiment with what type of massage or touch you prefer. You may like hard pressure on the lower part of your back, firm touching, or light wispy movements all over your back and down your arms. Being touched with fingertips using long flowing strokes, gently touching the head and scalp to relieve tension and stroking along the arms and stomach can be very relaxing.

If you are using breathing as a technique you may not want to be touched whilst a contraction is occurring. However, once it is over, you may want the massaging or stroking to resume.

During labour your partner or birthing companion should also be aware of whether you are holding tension in any part of your body. They should remind you to release and let go by applying pressure to the tense parts of your body and get you to take a deep breath as you visualize the tension drifting away.

Some women don't like being touched at all during labour as they find it distracts them.

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