Expecting 411 - Doula Massages for Labor Pain - Episode 875 Dr. Ari Brown talks with Ame Shillington, certified doula and Shelley Scotka, doula and childbirth educator about various positions and massage techniques to help relieve labor pain. A very special thanks to Dr. Brown.
Ari Brown: I'm Dr. Ari Brown with the 411 on childbirth positions. With me today, we have Miranda, mom to be, who's about to deliver any moment now. We have Ame Shillington, who is a certified doula at the Get Babied Doula Collective in Austin, and we have Shelley Scotka, who is a childbirth educator and doula at St. David's Medical Center in Austin, Texas. Ladies, I need some help helping out Miranda here. Can you guys give us some really great tips for making her more comfortable when she goes into labor?Shelley Scotka: Absolutely. A pain in labor is definitely a common concern lots of moms have, so there are lots of positions that can help a mom feel more comfortable in labor. Ame and Miranda are demonstrating a great side lying position. The major benefits of this position are that it allows the mom to rest, which is great, especially in early labor. It also opens up the pelvis nicely, so notice how her open leg is bent and her bottom leg is nice and straight. This is a great position that allows the support person to offer comfort, massage, stroking, just like Ame is wonderfully demonstrating.Another common thing that moms complain about in labor is back pain. Back pain can come from many sources. It can be baby's position through some large ligaments that attach to a mom's lower back, and it's normal to feel the pull of contractions on your lower back. This is an example of a great position that can help relieve back pain.We've got mom seated on the ball. She can lean forward on a table or even the hospital bed, and a support person can offer massage, counter pressures Ame's showing. You can also do a hot or cold pack to provide comfort, which can feel wonderful in labor. This is another great position that allows for optimal positioning of the baby. This allows gravity to pull your baby down and rotate around into the best position for birth.It also takes lots and lots of pressure off of moms' backs, so it feels great. Any variation of hands and knees works well. She's using the ball to help support her arms so her wrists don't get tired, and you can see that Ame is doing the double hip squeeze, gently squeezing those hips together which allows for pain and pressure release on mom's back. It also actually moves the pelvis a little bit, and makes a little bit more room for that baby to come down.These are just a few samples of different positions a mom can use in labor. If you have more questions or concerns about using positions in labor, you can talk to your doctor, your doula, or your childbirth educator.