What it is:
Counter pressure is direct pressure applied gradually and steadily over boney areas of the body. It is not poking or jabbing at the mother.
How it works:
Deep pressure helps to release tension in muscles.
How to do it:
From "The Complete Book of Massage" by Clare Maxwell-Hudson
Place the pads of your thumbs on the skin and gradually lean onto them. Press for a few seconds, then release and glide to the next point.
For circular pressure, press as for static pressure, then make small, penetrating, circular movements, circling the skin against the underlying muscle.
Integrating it into labor:
Apply pressure to the area of the shoulder blades to help relieve tension.
Apply pressure to both sides of the spine at the same time, slowly move down the back.
If you are uncomfortable using your fingertips due to weak hands or long fingernails, use your knuckles.