Massages during childbirth: what are the benefits and which ones to do

Fonte: shutterstock

Massages during childbirth

Massage during childbirth and labor can be effective for relieving tension and fear, but also for promoting relaxation, helping a woman to breathe better, being more collaborative and active, and reducing pain. But how should i massages during childbirth? Which are the areas to touch and which are the benefits?

In this article

  • Benefits of massages during labor
  • Who should do the massage?
  • Coccyx and back massage during labor
  • Foot massage during labor
  • Is massage during labor safe?
  • How to understand which is the best massage
  • Acupressure during childbirth
  • Effleurage, the massage on the abdomen
  • The perineal massage

Benefits of massages during labor

Among the best known benefits of massage during childbirth we point out:

  • reduction of pain in muscles and joints, especially in the back
  • better blood circulation and oxygenation, which can also be beneficial for the baby
  • reduction of swelling
  • reduction of muscle tension
  • reduction of anxiety and stress.
Read also: The massages indicated in pregnancy

Who should do the massage?

In general, if the massage is done by a specialized operator ormidwife the woman feels reassured and has the perception of being "welcomed" and in good hands. But the massage can also be done from the future dad, especially if together with his partner he attended a preparation course during which he learned the most suitable massage techniques.

Not everyone enjoys massage

Some women do not like to be touched and therefore before starting with the massage it is good to agree on this aspect to be sure that it is a pleasant practice.

Coccyx and back massage during labor

In situations of fear and pain, we tend to stiffen, therefore also during childbirth. The midwife can then perform a tailbone massage.

At the onset of labor, a massage along the line can be very relaxing vertebral column, starting from the shoulders and maintaining a rhythmic movement and long and constant strokes.

In advanced labor, the spine massage may be stronger to counteract the contractions. The thumb massage is also useful to make circles on the pits at the lumbar level.

Coccyx massage during labor

Fonte: shutterstock

Foot massage during labor

For pregnant women who do not like to be touched by the body during birth, a massage of the reflex zones of the foot. The stimulation of certain points of the foot can cause a feeling of relief in the abdomen.

The massage can be done vertically on the soles of the feet and on the front part by graduating the pressure and favoring the opening of the fingers.

Is massage during labor safe?

Most of the types of massage that are performed during labor are safe for the mother and baby, but if in doubt, do not hesitate to talk to your gynecologist.

How to understand which is the best massage

To understand which is the right massage you should start trying the various types of massage during pregnancy, together with your partner: try a massage on the feet and toes, legs, buttocks, back, but also face, neck, hands. Try different speeds and pressures, from a slow, light massage to a deep touch. Exercising before labor will help you and your partner get in tune with each other.

Remember that what you like during pregnancy may not work during labor when your senses are heightened. So always keep open a channel of honest communication with the person who is massaging you, to interrupt or change the touch during delivery.

Acupressure during childbirth

Acupressure is a type of massage based on acupuncture techniques that can help reduce pain during labor. The points to be touched are all located along the meridian lines and they change according to the course of labor. The pressure must be firm and concentrated in the targeted point and for this reason it is important to contact only competent and experienced operators.

Effleurage, the massage on the abdomen

L'effleurage is a natural method of managing pain in childbirth. Light pressure promotes relaxation during labor, reduces tension and fear, and often helps reduce pain. The fingertips to make a light rubbing of the arms, back and legs. But it is especially when it focuses on the abdomen that the effleurage can be useful and can also be done as a self-massage by the parturient. The basic idea is to be able to stop the pain response.

How you do it?

Make circular, rhythmic movements with the palm of your hand to lightly massage the abdomen. Focus on rhythm and movement and this will help the brain "forget" the pain response.

The perineal massage

Perineum massage - the area between the vaginal opening and the rectum that can tear during a natural birth - aims to stretch the perineal tissues in preparation for delivery. Research shows that the perineal massage in the third trimester it could reduce the chances of perineal trauma in the case of first birth. It is therefore a massage to be done in the third trimester of pregnancy and possibly after childbirth, but also during second stage of labor.


  • Massage, reflexology and other manual methods for pain management in labour.
  • Massage reduced severity of pain during labour: a randomised trial.

  • give birth
  • pains
  • massages
  • contractions
  • labor pains
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