Added pressure might seem like the last thing you'd want during labor. But touch can help ease a woman's tense body. "Massage releases endorphins, the brain's feel-good chemicals," massage therapist Melody Cook says. A neck or foot rub can do wonders to take a woman's mind off her contractions. Or have your partner or birthing coach apply counterpressure with these three techniques.
Tailbone press. With each contraction, your partner presses on your tailbone with the heel of his hand or a tennis ball.
Back caress. Your partner lightly runs his fingertips over your shoulders and down your back.
Pelvis press. While standing behind you, your partner puts his hands on your hips and pulls back on them firmly with each contraction (you tell him when). This maneuver can also help open the pelvis slightly to make room for your baby.
Copyright © 2002 Jennifer Cody Epstein. Reprinted with permission from the April 2002 issue of Parents magazine.
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.