It has been reported many times in the past few years that women in New Jersey have among the highest rates of cesarean sections in the country. For many women who have become pregnant, this is an alarming fact. It is sometimes a statistic that they do not want to add to. It has also become known in recent years that cesarean sections are not the best way for a woman to give birth. It is a major surgery that is, usually, not life threatening. However, there are many risks that are associated with it that can become life threatening. Some of the risks that are involved with a c-section are outlined in this excellent article that can be accessed by clicking here.
However, there is also a much longer post-partum recovery period simply due to the fact that she has just undergone a major surgical procedure. Pregnancy massage has been studied with regard to natural birth complications, with positive findings being reported by the Touch Research Institute. Fewer complications often mean a better chance of completing a natural, rather than a surgical, birth.
As with everything else, every person has their own decisions to make for their own body and life. For some women, childbirth is a natural end to the pregnancy. More and more women are choosing to have their child in a safe environment with a midwife, a doula, and very often, a pre-natal and post-natal massage therapist. Other research by the Touch Research Institute has concluded that receiving pre-natal massage can help labor go more quickly and more smoothly, which is a very desirable outcome. Considering the recent rise in popularity of doulas and midwives, it is possible that the statistics mentioned above with regard to c-sections will change in the next few years.
Undoubtedly, there are situations where a c-section is absolutely necessary, and where not performing one might lead to the death of the child. Situations such as placenta previa, where the placenta blocks the passage to the birth canal, might necessitate a c-section. However, many midwives are experienced in restoring a natural birth situation even when conditions exist where a physician would normally call for a c-section.
Perhaps it is not well-known, but I have known many pregnant women who have given birth to breech babies under a midwife’s care without the need for surgery. Nuchal cord babies have also been safely naturally birthed with a midwife’s care. A nuchal cord birth occurs when the umbilical cord is wrapped around the baby’s neck. A good midwife will begin the natural birth, and when the head appears, quickly and deftly unwrap the cord, thus saving the infant from asphyxiation. These types of situations are covered in the training that a midwife receives, and experience and intuition also help the midwife to know what to do in these types of situations.
Many women who are interested in having a midwife are also referred to a pre-natal massage therapist, and may also have a massage therapist present during the labor and birth itself. In this case, the therapist may be able to help with the pain of labor, reduce the stress of labor, assist with the process of labor with certain acupressure techniques, and provide emotional support to the new mother as she gives birth to her child. Then, of course, continuing with massage therapy in post-natal treatments after the birth is always a wise decision. Other blogs on this site have discussed the benefits of post-natal massage therapy in great detail.
For more information on pre-natal massage therapy, please visit our website by clicking here.