Close to the female hands of a massage therapist makes a light massage to the belly of a pregnant girl in a cosmetology room

Massage can help in many ways. It is one of the oldest, most effective and natural forms of healing. Therapeutic, remedial and relaxation massage relaxes and calms the tense, anxious mind by slowing down the breathing from short, rapid breaths to more effective deep, slow breaths. This relieves mental, emotional and physical fatigue techniques may be used in conjunction with aromatherapy oils.

Aromatherapy uses concentrated plant oils, a therapy on its own. The chemicals in the aroma of the oils are transported around the body via the lungs and bloodstream having specific physical and emotional effects. Many oils should not be used when pregnant or breastfeeding and are used by midwives as a clinical intervention.

Regular antenatal aromatherapy massage has been shown to ease labour pain, reduce stress hormones and increase birth hormones.

As a midwife, I see the benefits daily in antenatal, labour care and the postnatal period with many maternity units now offering aromatherapy for childbirth.