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How to Massage a Woman in Labor

You don’t have to be a certified massage therapist to give a laboring mom a good rub down, as long as you are careful. Moms in labor are usually quite sensitive to touch and smells.

So, you must be careful about how much pressure you use, where you are massaging and the type of oil or lotion you will use. Here are some tips for the proper technique.


11 Steps to Massage a Woman in Labor

Massage a Woman in Labor


1. Begin with her hands or feet.

This is a safe place to start. Her hands and feet aren’t as sensitive to other parts of her body during labor, so she will probably be receptive to these areas.


2. Gradually extend the massage out to different areas of her body like her lower back, neck, legs and hips.

She will probably tell you if she does not like the massage or needs it some place differently.


3. Maintain constant contact during a contraction.

Most moms like support throughout the contraction. This gives an added sense of security and support.


4. Make movements rhythmic and smooth.

Quick, jerky movements have a tendency to irritate moms in labor. Keep firm pressure and smooth movements through the contraction.


5. Look for specific areas of tension.

For instance, look to see if her shoulders are pulled up or if there are lines in her forehead. Try to relax those areas as much as possible. Remind her through your words to relax and reinforce it through your touch.


6. Add pillows for support.


7. If you do something that she really seems to enjoy, do it until she doesn’t want it anymore.

You can do that movement continuously, or you can come back to it frequently. More often than not, if massage in a particular place is relaxing or helpful to her, it’s because those muscles need to be relaxed.


8. If the massage is effective, you will want to continue.

However, to preserve your hands and energy, you will need to teach another support person who is present to do what you are doing. If you are alone, agree to massage her whenever she really needs it, but try to preserve your energy as much as possible.


9. Think positive thoughts. Many therapists believe that energy can be felt through a person’s hands.

So, if you are massaging Mom, think positive and relaxing thoughts. If you get really tired or feel that your energy is waning, take a small break.


10. Keep your hands warm.

If you are massaging her continuously, your hands will stay warm. But if you have taken a break, run them under warm water or rub them together first before touching her.


11. Ask Mom about the type of pressure that feels best to her.

Firm pressure usually feels best during a contraction.


Tips and Warnings
Don’t take it personally if Mom decides she doesn’t want to be touched anymore. This is probably due to sensitivity of her skin as the contractions increase.


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