“I progressed through my induction all night and then from working here knew what time the massage therapist got here in the morning,” Case said. “As soon as I knew it was around 9 a.m., I asked my nurse to go ahead and call the massage therapist. (Copeland) was with me until I ended up getting an epidural about 1 or 1:30 p.m. that afternoon. She was with me up until that point.”
Case said originally, her goal was to have a natural pregnancy without medication, but she was able to hold out a lot longer with the help of massage therapy.
“With every contraction, she put pressure on my lower back,” she said. “That helped to ease the contractions. My goal was to have a natural delivery without medication and I think I had the mindset that that was going to happen and she definitely eased that for me. It was actually my husband that came in and said, ‘I can’t watch you any longer. You have to get some sort of medication.’ I would not have been able to make it as long as I did without massage therapy.”
Copeland said working on a woman’s back during labor helps ease the process.
“A lot of times when you’re in labor, you have back labor and if you do counter pressure during that contraction, that eases that,” she said. “It doesn’t totally take it away, but it makes it like, ‘OK, I can do this.’ Then in between contractions, we can do softer strokes working on the back, because the back is your nervous system. My motto is ‘rest when you can, work when you have to.’ I try to help them relax in between contractions and then take the point off that intense back labor.”