Massage is a wonderful tool for coping with pain in labour. It helps the mother tune into her body, be aware and connected to her baby and the birthing process and increase her trust and confidence. Through a contraction it reminds her to remain calm and centred and helps to enable deep resting between contractions. It can also include her birth-partner by offering practical strategies for them to be involved during the labour. It may help to get the baby into a good position for labour. In helping the mother to feel calm and relaxed, a more relaxing environment will be created for the baby.
Techniques can be used to assist the efficiency of contractions, dilation of the cervix, the descending action of the baby, help release suppressed emotions which might be affecting labour, relieve pain, sickness and diarrhoea and expulsion of the placenta.
Massage during labour allows for an active birth as techniques can be carried out in any position and in a birthing pool. It can also be vital in helping birth partners to sustain themselves physically and emotionally during long or intense labours.
“Having supported my partner for long periods of time through the night in standing positions the massage I received released a huge amount of tension and allowed me to carry on being supportive where otherwise my back would’ve been too painful.” (M.J Allendale)