Labour Support Tips – By Madeleine Ganly, Registered Massage Therapist
Simply having a supportive person present can help ease labour. Adding touch can increase relaxation, decrease anxiety, stimulate the production of oxytocin and increase perceived social and emotional connectivity.
Try out these 5 support tools during labour:
1. Sacral counterpressure
The birthing person can be in any position that gives the support person access to the sacrum. The support person places their hand over the sacrum and directs pressure towards the coccyx (tailbone). This will help with pain and pressure in the low back and pelvis.
2. Rebozo Hip Jiggle
The birthing person rests on hands and knees, or forearms and knees. The support person places the Rebozo (a sheet or towel will work) around the birthing person’s buttocks holding their hands close to the hips and rocks and jiggles the hips. This will help relax the birthing person and alleviate discomfort in the back and hips.
3. Seated Sacral Compression
With the birthing person seated in a chair the support person pushes against their knees. This helps alleviate pressure in the pelvis and low back and is particularly helpful when the birthing person is experiencing back labour and needs more constant pressure.
4. Hip Squeeze
The birthing person can stand and lean on a wall or rest on hands and knees. The support person uses their hands or forearms to squeeze the birthing person’s hips to help alleviate pressure and pain in the pelvis and hips.
5. Supported Squatting in Front of a Chair
This allows the support person access to the birthing person’s neck, shoulders, head and jaw. This is helpful between contractions and will help keep the neck, shoulders and jaw relaxed.
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