Labor Massage: Hip Squeeze
What it is:
The hip squeeze is a type of pressure massage that can relieve lower back pain in labor.
How it works:
During labor the pressure of the baby's head on the pelvis stretches the pelvis. The hip squeeze pushes the pelvis back into a relaxed position relieving the pressure of the stretch.
How to do it:
Have the mother move into whichever variation of the hands and knees position she finds most comfortable. Begin by gently placing your hands on her hip bones to find proper placement, then slide your hands onto her back while keeping them on the large hipbones.
Keep one hand on each bone and your thumbs pointed toward the spine forming a "W". Push the hipbones "in and up" towards the mothers body, and at the same time towards the mothers shoulders as if you needed to press on the bones and slide them up her back.
Integrating it into labor:
Try the hip-squeeze while the mother is in a standing position, leaning over a table or counter. Encourage her to sway gently during the contraction as you squeeze.
With the mother leaning over a birth ball, encourage the mother to rock back and forth as you do the hip squeeze.
Alternate the hip squeeze with counter pressure on the mother's lower back, doing each massage for one full contraction.