Massage mothers the mother. It restores energy from a depleted state by stimulating circulation and bringing tension to rest. Massage can ease the stress on weight bearing joints and help release the postural strains of pregnancy. It is not indicated when someone has a fever or infection, swollen vein, inflamed joint, vomiting or diarrhea or if the care giver advised against it.
Do keep your movements smooth and rhythmic, paying attention to mother’s nonverbal cues. You can apply light oil of her choice and keep your fingers together when you knead and stroke.
During early labor, the mother finds relief in a nice belly rub from the top of the womb down over the baby, then up the sides and encircling the baby to mildly stimulate the uterus.
During the last stage of labor, holding or pressing on the feet can bring relief from contractions.
After a contraction, a gentle hand on a stiff place may help mother to let go. Gentle nerve strokes down the arms loosen up shoulders that are raised high during contractions. Massage scalp, around eyes, and around legs and buttocks to release exhaustion and help keep your bottom loose.
During a contraction, apply pressure on the lower back to relieve a low back pain. Press hands (or arm or feet) in a V shape on the mother’s sacrum (lower back). Press outward from sacrum into buttocks. Mom should stay on hands and knees position with the partner’s applying hard pressure (using fist, palm or feet) to the sacrum. A warm water bottle covered with cloth can also be pressed on the lower back.
The following massage strokes can be effectively applied to many areas of the body:
Effleurage is long, full handed strokes that apply broad, firm pressure in one direction and a softer resting pull back to the beginning of the stroke. Begin and end with an Effleurage.
Petrissage is a kneading stroke using the following techniques: hands kneading alternately, hand over hand as in pulling up through the sides of the receiver’s torso, hands flat and pulling opposite to cause light friction and hands stroking apart like breaking bread is useful on the feet, hands and limbs.
Friction is moving in circles with one or two thumbs. One thumb circulates while the other hand rests nearby on mom’s body. This massage is useful in tension spots around the joints or in the muscle bellies.
Open Fist is applying pressure using the backs of the fingers in a long stroke down and away along the spinal muscles, harmstrings and side of the legs.
Nerve Strokes are soft strokes that are nice to end with on the whole body at the end of the massage.
Other famous strokes include rocking, drumming and holding points.
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