A. Britton_0363_B&WTouch and massage can be powerful, effective tools as comfort techniques.  During labor the uterus is sending substantial messages to the brain that it is doing this incredible thing called contracting and that it is certainly not a “walk in the park.”  As a woman experiences other pleasant sensations through touch, pleasing messages are sent to the brain that can decrease and counteract the “bigger” sensations called contractions.  Often women enjoy light touch massage on their backs, arms, head, and hair.  Deeper touch is common on the lower back.  These different massage techniques help decrease the strong sensations of labor.  It is wonderful to have a support team of at least four hands kept busy helping the laboring woman remain comfortable.  More than once I have heard a woman comment that she felt like she was at the spa… and she was in labor!  Being in the tub is also wonderful because everywhere the water touches feels that comfort. The warmth and moisture also increase comfort and relaxation while helping the tissues of the perineum prepare to stretch. Let yourself be pampered!

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