2b. Labor of Love: Massage, Hands-on Support, Acupressure (part 2)

In part 2 of the Labor of Love class,* dive more deeply into labor support tools. Receive guidance while practicing hands-on techniques including counter pressure, acupressure and labor massage.

Continue on to learn about the pushing stage of labor, including options and different approaches in the medical field to the the second stage of labor (pushing and birth), and the distinct practice of following your body’s urges in unmedicated birth. Practice effective pushing positions and sensory awareness.

*This class can only be taken in combination with Labor of Love, Part 1)

Below you will find a sample class meditation audio recording as well as a video about Choices In Birth (coming soon) that we encourage families to watch as early in pregnancy as possible. (This topic is explored in more depth in our Informed Choices workshop.)


  • Progressive Relaxation (exercise)
  • The Second Stage of Labor
    (pushing and birth)
    • Understanding the pushing stage
    • Pushing awareness (sensory exercise)
  • Deepening Labor Support Skills (hands on)
    • Counter pressure techniques
      • Double Hip Squeeze
      • Sacral Pressure
      • Double Knee Press
    • Acupressure For Labor + Birth
    • Massage for Labor + BIrth
  • Envisioning Your Birth (partner exercise)

•Schedule four 30 minute practice session times with your birth support before your 38th week of pregnancy. 
         •Practice 1: Labor Massage
         •Practice 2: Acupressure
         •Practice 3: Manual Support
         •Practice 4: Pushing Positions
•Find a time to share your birth visions with one another

Class Resources

Manual Support Techniques:
Double Hip Squeeze 1
Double Hip Squeeze 2
Sacral Pressure
Double Knee Press (min 1:35)

Touch Supports:
Acupressure for Labor 
•Massage for Labor (handout)
Comfort Measures for Labor (PDF)
Comfort Measure for Labor (DVD)

Pushing In Labor
Understanding the Pushing Stage (video)
      •Finding the Push (minute 57:53)
      •Observing the Push (minute 59:29)

Supporting “Optimal Fetal Positioning” in Pregnancy 
A “Good fit between mother + baby”
•Prenatal Yoga at Open Circle
•Spinning Babies Daily Essentials
Breech Turning Movement Techniques

Supporting “Optimal Fetal Positioning” in Birth
A “Good fit between mother + baby”
•The Miles Circuit 
Spinning Babies Suggestions for a Variety of Baby Positions

Supporting Comfort, Strength and Mobility in Pregnancy + Birth
•Prenatal Yoga at Open Circle
Prenatal Yoga with Jane Austin (video)

Open Circle offers prenatal massage as well as postpartum massage with baby in Providence, Rhode Island

Can’t thank you enough for your classes on labor/delivery. I was able to deliver him lying down on my side. Your pushing info along laboring techniques all came in very handy. [Our doctor] said we had done our homework!

A.+M. G.

South County


Kaeli and Open Circle were invaluable in getting me ready and confident ahead of the birth of my first child. (In the end nothing went according to plan — but Kaeli’s approach had also helped us develop a frame of mind that allowed us to stay positive and fully present for a joyful birth anyway!)

Because of the Contemplative Birth classes, my husband and I felt expertly prepared, despite having little knowledge of babies or birth beforehand. Although I thought reading several pregnancy and birth books would have given me most of the information already, there was so much that was new and invaluable to us. These in-depth sessions gave us a head start on everything from managing the experience of labor, to figuring out how our household would continue to function during the newborn weeks, to a super enlightening breastfeeding primer. Whenever we questioned the time commitment — with two busy work schedules, it was sometimes tricky — we quickly agreed that each class gave us so much new knowledge, it was important to see them through. And I can testify that all the information Kaeli draws from is evidence-based, and the classes aren’t exclusively for the “crunchy” at heart.  In short, Kaeli is an incredible resource for families and families-to-be! – S., Cranston