Heart of the Rose
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Massage During Labor

In the late 19th century, before analgesics and anesthetics became popular, doctors and midwives routinely used massage during labor and birth (and still is the most common form of pain-coping practice for homebirth midwives and doulas in practice today). Today the delivery room is equipped for every emergency. But let’s not forget the simplest solution, and one that everyone can bring with them: massage.

Nerves that supply the uterus originate in the lowest part of the spine … at the bottom of your spine, feel the sacrum, a flat, roughly triangular bone where five vertebrae fuse together. One place that begs for massage in labor is this sacral prominence, at the top of the buttocks. Another place is the center of the triangle, soothing the nerves that leave the spinal column. This can be especially calming after a contraction. One study from Denmark found that laboring women who received foot massage from their midwife had labors on average two hours shorter than the women who did not receive foot massage. This was probably due to the decrease in adrenaline, and the stimulation of the uterine contraction points.

Learn more about our Doula Services here.

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© Copyright 2011 Tina George Dawson & Heart of the Rose // Arcata, California

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