Massage stimulates your body to release endorphins, the natural pain-killing, mood-lifting chemicals produced in the brain. Endorphins are responsible for the high that you feel after exercise, or after a good bout of laughter.
In labour, massage brings you closer to the person who’s caring for you. This could be your doula, midwife or your birth partner. Touch can make you feel better while you’re coping with contractions and perhaps tired or frightened.
Massage may ease pain and reduce anxiety in the first stage of labour. It may help you to cope with your contractions by making them feel less intense and more manageable.