Massage to Relieve Labor Pain

Posted by Trupti Shirole on Thu, Mar 31, 2011  
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Massage is helpful for relieving any kind of pain and several studies have proved that about 80-90% women reported reduction in pain when they were massaged during labor pain. It supported them psychologically and helped relieve their anxiety about labor and delivery. We all know that emotions and thought play a big role in helping to relieve or alleviate pain. Massaging or even a touch is re-assuring for any individual during pain.  


Doctors or midwives recommend that a woman should be massaged during labor as it eases pain, relieves her anxiety, shortens the labor period and also lowers the woman’s risk of postpartum depression. Touch can help to relieve many kinds of pain because when the body is touched in a gentle manner, the brain is stimulated to release endorphins that help to reduce the pain and improves a person’s mood.


Using massage for relieving labor pain has no side-effects or drawbacks for the mother or baby. Massage can be used in conjunction with other forms of pain relief. It is not necessary that this massage has to be given by some expert. However, some women might not like to be touched during labor contractions. But for those who find massage relaxing here are few tips-

Using Massage to Relieve Pain during Labor


  • A shoulder massage is relaxing and helps a woman in labor to breathe more rhythmically. Use firm circular strokes from the shoulders to the elbow. Similarly lower back massage during early labor can also be done. But this lower back massage cannot be continued once the uterine contractions become very intense.


  • Strong firm strokes from ankles to toes can help to relieve the anxiety and tension during early labor. Use the thumbs to make circular movements on the soles of the feet.



  • A woman who has been given an epidural might be relaxed if given a hand massage. Stroke each hand from the wrist to the fingertips. With the thumb make small circles all over the palms. Gently pull each finger. Repeat this for both the arms.


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