One of the joys of motherhood is giving birth but behind the joy of motherhood is pain especially when one delivers a baby. That is why comfort and love should be given to the would-be-mother. We Filipinos are known for being affectionate and caring especially to our loved ones. Touching is one way of expressing concern for them. There is hardly a people, ancient or modern, that do not in some way resort to massage and expression in labor, even if it be a natural and easy one.
Midwives are in a unique position to carry the benefits of touch and massage with them into labor and childbirth. By doing so, they can help control pain, foster deeper relaxation and even hasten labor. Today, more and more Filipino women give birth through the help of a midwife. Physician and anthropologist Ales Hrdlicka, who traveled extensively throughout North America, reported, "The assistance given is everywhere substantially the same, consisting of pressure or kneading with the hands or with a bandage about the abdomen, the object of which is to give direct aid in the expulsion of the child.
The procedure, which is not always gentle, accomplishes very probably the same result as the kneading of the uterine fundus under similar conditions by the white physician, namely, more effective uterine contractions.
A study reported in Mental Health Update demonstrated that physical and emotional support by a labor doula provided substantial benefits to women in labor. In the study, the women in a group that received physical touch (light massage and counter-pressure) and emotional support, as compared to controls, had 56% fewer c-sections; an 85% reduction in the use of epidural anesthesia; 70% fewer forceps deliveries; 61% decrease in the use of oxytocin; a 25% shorter duration of labor; and a 58%...