Massage to Start Labor

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How to use massage to naturally induce labor

One of the most enjoyable ways of trying to get labor started is to get a good massage. Although there is nothing but anecdotal evidence to support that massage can in fact induce labor, massage therapists are often told not to massage a woman who is on bed rest or to avoid certain points that are known to stimulate contractions unless she is close to her due date..

How massage can work to start labor

Getting a good massage from a licensed massage therapist or even your spouse or labor partner can help to relax you. It is very likely that this relaxation effect from getting a massage reduces the stress hormones such as adrenaline. Excessive stress hormones are known to decrease or slow down contractions so it is quite possible that some of these hormones could also prevent you from going into labor.

Very often our crazy work schedules in our culture do not lend themselves easily to going into labor spontaneously. Perhaps this is one reason why inductions are becoming more prevalent because mothers are not able to “let go” toward the end of pregnancy. Massage can work in the mother’s favor by slowing down the production of stress hormones to relax her body and finally allow labor to begin.

In addition to the relaxation effect, another way massage can help to stimulate contractions is when pressure points are stimulated. Some of these points are on the ankle area or top of the hand. See the article on Pressure Points for Labor for more information.

Visit the complete series of articles on ways to naturally induce labor.