The beautiful act of touch can be used during labor as a natural, non-invasive and comforting tool. It will help awaken the parasympathetic system and block pain signals from reaching the central nervous system during labor and birth. Massage, light touch, and acupressure points are sacred ways to release oxytocin naturally in the body and enhance your labor experience.
A birth doula can deeply support you with this, but it’s wonderful for your partner to help you as well. Touch during labor will decrease labor pain, lower your stress, depression and anxiety levels. It is a natural painkiller, as the rush of endorphins through your body reduces our perception of pain.
In between contractions
Getting a message on the shoulders, back, feet, and/or hands can help your body let go and relinquish control. The level of pressure for the massage will increase or decrease depending on your cues and body language. A birth doula will be able to know exactly what you need in the moment. Essential oils and massage oils that are specifically safe for pregnant women can also add more pleasure.
If you’re too sensitive for a deep massage, light touch is a calming technique that will give you warm tingling sensations. Your intimate partner can gently touch your neck, stroke your ears, glide their fingers up your arm, and stroke upwards from the base of the spine and over the shoulders like a water fountain. This can greatly enhance your birthing experience by having tender touch and tight embraces from your love.
With the release of the love hormone oxytocin and endorphins, your body has this natural high and you can instinctually give birth and stop the thinking brain. Studies show that touch plays a significant role in decreasing C-sections, duration of labor, forceps deliveries, and the use of epidural.
When contractions intensify
When contractions intensify, counterpressure is great for pain relief. Heavy pressure is applied on painful areas, particularly the lower back, to alleviate discomfort in the pelvis.
Hot tip for when you’re pushing: being given a cool wet washcloth is a must!
Here are some benefits of physical touch during labor:
There will be no physical or psychological harm to the mama or the sweet baby
Sends “feel good” signals to the brain and oxytocin can flow
It shows respect & empathy – it’s a powerful and sacred way to communicate
Simple method that allows your mind to clear, bringing you comfort & healing
Beautiful reminder that you are not alone
Massage relaxes muscles, increases blood circulation, reduces heart rate & blood pressure
Will help you overcome fears & blocks by having loving support
Remember that giving birth is such a monumental moment of your life — your birthing team should be making sure you’re as comfortable. Lean into physical touch on the big day and see how it makes you feel!
I would be honored to be by your side as you journey through the sacred birth portal. Learn more about my sacred birth work here: https://taraneynicole.com/sacred-birth-work/
Big Love To You Mama, @taraneynicole