Here is a link to a study by Tiffany Field on the effects of Massage Therapy for pregnancy and labour. It shows that women receiving regular massage during pregnancy report less depression and anxiety, as well as less back and leg pain. And that due to decreased cortisol as a result of massage, there is less excessive fetal activity, and in turn a lower rate of premature births.
It also mentions that massage during labour can help decrease a woman’s pain significantly and lessen her need for medications, while also helping to shorten labour an average of three hours.
Click the link for an interesting read: