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oooooh, aaaaahh Massage in Labor

Did you know....?

Massage benefits laboring moms in a lot of ways!

When was the last time you had a massage? It may have been a professional massage at a spa or it could have just been a quick backrub from your honey, but didn’t it feel good?

According to research, massages can actually assist mothers to labor faster and more comfortably. Even a quick and simple massage can do wonders for decreasing a mother’s anxiety and pain. 

Just check out the findings from this study:

“Twenty-eight women were recruited from prenatal classes and randomly assigned to receive massage in addition to coaching in breathing during labor, or to receive coaching in breathing alone. The massaged mothers reported a decrease in depressed mood, anxiety and pain, and showed less agitated activity and anxiety and more positive affect following the first massage during labor. In addition the massaged mothers had shorter labors, a shorter hospital stay and less postpartum depression.” (1)

During labor, sometimes the focus can all be put on having the mother breath and push. Without a relaxed body, however, focusing all energy (emotional and physical) on these important tasks becomes difficult for mom. Having nurturing support she can trust and feel safe with is important.  Massage facilitates this.

That’s where a well-trained, professional and certified Doula comes in. Having a doula there who knows how to massage and comfort a mother with touch throughout the labor process means that mom can receive that much-needed massage any time she needs it! Find a doula who is certified and specifically trained in maternal-fetal positioning, and the best techniques for helping mom relax her muscles. A massage during labor (whether from Dad or Doula) also allows the mother to breathe easier and keep her rhythm.

The results? A less-stressed, less-depressed mom and a shorter labor process and hospital stay.  Who can say no to that? 

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(1) Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M., Taylor , S., Quintino, O., & Burman, I. (1997). 

Labor pain is reduced by massage therapy. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and 

Gynecology, 18, 286-291.

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