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3:50 min| 3,030,825 views
Massage during labor can help relieve pain. Learn techniques you can use during labor, like "nerve strokes" and the "double hip squeeze".
Learn about all of your options for managing labor pain in BabyCenter's free online childbirth class.
Pregnancy massage reminders:
- Check in with your partner
- Don't use deep pressure
- Be sure she isn't leaning on or squishing her belly
Massage therapist: Kate Machi has been a massage therapist and infant massage instructor since 1995, and a pediatric health professional trainer since 2012. Kate is certified in prenatal massage.
Location: SenSpa, San Francisco, CA. SenSpa specializes in massage, skin care, acupuncture, naturopathic medicine, and holistic health.
Video by: MegTV
Kate Machi: Massage is a great way to ease labor pains and the best time to start is early, before you get to the hospital. So today, Stephanie is with me. Stephanie, how are you doing?
Stephanie: I'm doing good.
Kate Machi: Good. How far along are you?
Stephanie: Twenty-seven weeks.
Kate Machi: Twenty-seven weeks. Okay, so this massage is going to help you even before you get into labor too.
We're going to start with some nice deep breathing. We always do before we do any massage. This is great for the partner as well, to ground and relax yourself at the same time.
So partners and moms, take couple of nice deep breaths. Stephanie. Fully exhale. That's great. If you could just continue that, I'm just going to do some nice longer strokes down Stephanie's spine here. It always feels very nice, nice way to relax. Now of course, when she's laboring, I would be doing this between contractions. Often when mom's in labor and having the contractions, she may or may not want to be touched at that time, and you'll always be checking in with her to see what she wants.
Double hip squeeze
And then with the contractions, and in between the contractions also, I'm going to place my palms on either side of her hips with my fingertips pointing in. And Stephanie, go ahead and take a nice deep breath in, and as you release, I'm going to press in. I'm leaning in with my body weight, so it makes it much easier on my own back as well. So if you go ahead and keep breathing, nice and rhythmically, Stephanie, and I'll follow your lead. I'm going to just watch the rise and fall of her back here, so I know when she's breathing out. This is going to help the pelvis to relax so that the baby can drop farther down. So this helps Stephanie move into the final stage of labor.
Sacrum press (only during labor)
When mom's in labor, you can press directly on the sacrum, and even with your fingers directly down the sides of the sacrum. That's not something that we recommend during pregnancy, but when she is in labor, her partner will be pressing directly onto the sacrum and harder than we've ever pressed before, and holding it for 8 to 9 seconds and releasing.
Stephanie, believe it or not, we're going to dance, just like in junior high. Remember?
Kate Machi: Bear with me. Okay, put your arms around my waist.
Kate Machi: And lean into me. Lean against me like you would against your partner. So we're just going to sway together back and forth a little bit. Some nice easy breathing. And then partner, you can see my hands are in the perfect position, so some nice compressions right around the spine here, all the way down. And mom's leaning into me, she's breathing, she's using me as her pillar. And I am thinking about her and I am massaging along her spine. I might be holding her right here at the sacrum and grounding her and helping her to ground. When a contraction comes, it might be time to stop and just hold mom while she really leans against you and breathes, and you can breathe with her. And we're going to move again, back and forth. This nice slow, easy rhythm. And that, my dear, is the dance. Thank you.
Stephanie: Thank you.