Using Massage During Labor
There are some basic guidelines to keep in mind when using massage and loving touch to help a laboring woman. A mother in labor goes through many physical and emotional changes in a short period of time so continued support from a caring birth partner can make a huge difference in her childbirth experience.
Always Ask Permission Before Touching a Woman in Labor
If disrupted, a woman in the mids of labor can be really uncomfortable. Which is why its best to wait and ask her if she wants to be "massaged" before doing it.
Keep Massage Strokes Gentle
Smooth strokes is a must to avoid annoying her. A woman in labor won't really feel comfortable with rushed or choppy strokes. Put firm pressure while gently working with long strokes across the belly, back, leg, foot or hand.
Try to Use An Oil Or Lotion
Avoid having her skin touched by rough hands or getting rubbed from friction. Use a pretty good quality massage oil or lotion to minimize friction and avoid irritating the skin, or even annoying her. You don't have to use too much, adding a bit would actually go a long way. It's an excellent way to keep a laboring mother feel calm, relaxed and centered. Fragrance might be something you would want to ask if its something that would please her.
A Laboring Woman May Change Her Mind
When a laboring woman is at the transition phase. She might change her mind from time to time. Do not take this personally, as this is normal while the mother is trying to take control of the situation to cope with it.
At one time, she might ask you to massage her back, but then ask you to stop at the next contraction. After a while she might ask you to do her legs and feet. You just have to be very patient and remember that a laboring woman is working extremely hard.
Try to Practice
You might have a better idea on what coping techniques to do for a laboring woman when you do practice. Of course, you might want to watch an expert do it first but do not be afraid of being hands after a while. After all, we all have to start somewhere.