The award winning LK Massage Programme® was initially developed through two research projects. Successive phases of the Programme have been designed to complement maternal, paternal, fetal-neonatal adaptations from late pregnancy, though labour, birth, suckling and lactation.
The first phase begins from 36 weeks gestation and operates to promote sleep, relaxation and the circadian pattern of uterine activity during the transition from pregnancy to labour. Following labour onset the Programme has been designed to enable women to have a trusted partner whose familiar touch in a low lit private environment enhances relaxation and pain relief. This enables mothers to release oxytocin throughout labour, birth and attachment.
Following birth, the second phase of the Programme is used to counteract the effects of medical interventions; minimize maternal-infant separation; stimulate suckling and lactation and help parents develop a synchronised relationship with their baby over the first 3-6 months of extrauterine life.
The aims of the LK Massage Programme are to ensure that control over the birth process lies with the mother and her chosen birth partner, supported by the health professionals, mainly the midwife.
Couples are taught the Programme during the last month of pregnancy and are well practised to work together in labour. This encourages them to remain in their familiar home environment until labour is established. Alternatively, chosen techniques can be taught to consenting couples during labour.
In line with current evidence the overall birth experience for low risk mothers, birthing partners and midwives can be enhanced by using a non pharmacological coping strategy such as the LK Massage Programme in a non medical environment.
The Programme is regularly modified on the basis of new evidence on maternal, fetal and paternal neuro – hormonal adaptations to pregnancy and labour and maternal - infant attachment.
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