There are numerous benefits of the nurturing and sensitive touch of a massage to a pregnant woman during labor, especially if the masseur is in tune with the mother’s body and quickly picks up on cues.
Labor pain is often caused by the contraction of uterine muscles and pressure at the cervix. The pain can be felt as an intense cramping in the lower abdomen, back, groin, or as an achy feeling. Other women experience pain in the thighs, or their sides as well.
Massage helps relieve this pain, anxiety, and muscular discomfort. It is beneficial with low back aches and common leg cramps. Touch techniques to a pregnant woman’s lower back relieve back labor and general lower back pain.
Massage Reduces Medical Interventions
There are risks with medicinal approaches that something unwanted may happen, such as an upset stomach, liver damage, tolerance, palpitations, or nausea. These vary from one patient to another.
With the right massaging techniques, medical interventions, such as forceps, cesarean birth, and synthetic oxytocin hormone are reduced. A masseur can also increase a woman’s pain perception and threshold during labor, thus, reducing the need for pain medications.
Massage Reduces Anxiety
Anxiety is considered normal, however it may be considered a medical disorder when it reoccurs from time to time during pregnancy. Anxiety and depression prevalence in pregnancy doubled between 2015 and 2018 in the US alone. It leads to excessive fear, feeling of apprehension, nervousness, and worry.
Massage during labor is proven to decrease the chances of postpartum depression. It also provides emotional support, reassurance, and decreases fear and anxiety. Typically, after a woman in labor is massaged, they feel relaxed and have enhanced confidence in themselves, and the birth process.
Massage Reduces Labor Pain
In a research study dubbed Pregnancy and Labor massage in 2010, it was found that women who were massaged during labor experienced much less pain. Their labor lasted an average of three hours shorter and with minimal need for medication.
During the study, partners for pregnant women were instructed on how to work the legs and back. It was noted that these were the areas that experience the most pain. They were required to do it every first fifteen minutes of every hour of labor.
Massage Enhances Psychological Functioning
Vagal activity is a process that results in various effects, such as reduction of heart rate, vasoconstriction or dilation of vessels, immune system regulation, glandular activity in the lungs, heart, and digestive tract. Massages help improve oxytocin levels. Oxytocin is the hormone responsible for reduced anxiety, blood pressure, and it can have a sedative effect.
According to Tiffany Field, moderate massages elicit a significant increase in vagal activity. It increases cerebral flow in various brain regions concerned with stress and depression regulation. Psychological stressors reduce vagal activity during pregnancy, but increased vagal activity decreases blood pressure, cortisol, and heart rate.
Massage Speeds Labor
Massaging helps reduce the need for the augmentation of contractions with synthetic oxytocin. When using an effective stimulating-abdominal massaging techniques, the strength and frequency of contractions may also increase.
Most massaging techniques are safe during pregnancy and labor, though there may be exceptions. If you have any queries about massage during labor, it is best to talk to your healthcare provider. Above all, the benefits of massaging during labor precedes ignorance of the same by far. It is a great way to reduce labor pain and ease the journey of a pregnant woman.