Labor Massage: Kneading
What it is:
This is probably the touch that comes to mind when you think "massage." Wrapping your hands around a body part, move your hands in opposite directions while using a firm pressure. It should look like kneading dough.
How it works:
Kneading is a massage technique that causes the muscles to relax involuntarily.
How to use it:
Kneading is a massage that uses a fair amount of pressure, so be sure to read the mothers responses to the touch to be sure it is comfortable to her. Kneading may be helpful between contractions to help the mother relax.
You may also try kneading through a contraction, but only if it was begun before the contraction began. Begriming a kneading touch after a contraction has started tends to be disruptive.
Integrating it into labor:
As the mother sits or reclines comfortably, use a kneading massage on her thighs.
While the mother is leaning forward over a counter, rail or the bed, use a kneading massage to help loosen her shoulders.
Some mothers find a deep kneading massage to their feet is extremely helpful to get them relaxed. Do this between contractions.