Labor Preparation And Massage

preg belly and blue sky

Labor Preparation With Massage

This massage is specific to women at 38 to 40 weeks gestation or those who have gone beyond their due date.  Labor preparation is a gentle but effective way to nudge the body to get ready for labor.  It will not force the body to go into labor, but instead work with where the body is naturally to help get the body and baby ready and or help facilitate the process.  Studies have shown that stimulating specific acupressure points help raise oxytocin levels (hormones needed for labor) to stimulate the body to shift into labor (however, the body and baby must be ready for labor for the massage to stimulate labor).  If the body or baby is not ready, the massage will help the cervix to ripen, efface and dilate, but labor will not begin until baby and the mothers body is truly ready.

 The Goal Of This Massage Is To:

  • relax the mother-to-be
  • releases stored emotional and energetic blocks to help with readiness for labor
  • prepare the birthing muscles
  • assist the body in activating contractions and labor
  • help with cervical dilation through the use of acupressure points
  • stimulate specific acupressure points that are thought to help move the baby down the birth canal
  • helps with oxytocin production and can facilitate labor
  • provides a nurturing and safe space for the mother to be and process any fears or anxiety about labor


Current research has shown us that professional massage support during labor provides you with the following benefits:

  • 50% reduction in the cesarean rate
  • 25% shorter labor
  • 60% reduction in epidural requests
  • 40% reduction in oxytocin use
  • 30% reduction in analgesia use
  • 40% reduction in forceps delivery


Twenty-eight women were recruited from prenatal classes and randomly assigned to receive massage in addition to coaching in breathing from their partners during labor, or to receive coaching in breathing alone (a technique learned during prenatal classes). The massaged mothers reported a decrease in depressed mood, anxiety and pain, and showed less agitated activity and anxiety and more positive affect following the first massage during labor. In addition, the massaged mothers had significantly shorter labors, a shorter hospital stay and less postpartum depression.

Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology


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