In recent years, more and more women are recognizing the benefits of pregnancy massage, especially for reducing discomfort.
Pregnancy is a special time and brings many changes.
During pregnancy, there is an increased demand on your body for nutrients, energy and as baby grows, so does your weight bearing capacity.
Likewise, there are increased pressures experienced throughout pregnancy which effects the muscular, skeletal, emotional and hormonal systems of your body.
Research has shown that pregnancy massage during and after your pregnancy can be extremely beneficial to help reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscle aches and joint pains, and improve labor outcomes and newborn health.
There are many ways obstetric massage can support you during pregnancy..
So let’s have a deeper look at some of the pregnancy massage benefits.
Lowers Stress & Anxiety Levels
Cortisol is the primary stress hormone.
Studies have shown that when we have high levels of cortisol for a prolonged period of time, it can negatively impact the immune system.
Massage therapy is an amazing way to reduce the level of cortisol in your body, and even more so as part of prenatal care.
You’ll experience more ‘good’ hormones, such as serotonin that improve mood, vitality, and immunity.
Enjoying pregnancy massage throughout can effectively reduce stress and anxiety, and apart from helping mother, it also lowers the stress hormones in the baby.
Improved Sleep Quality
Pregnancy massage helps the increased production of the hormone melatonin, which helps to regulate sleep rhythms.
When a pregnant woman receives a massage, it improves the quality of her sleep which promotes a good overall effect on the body.
Lessens Joint Swelling & Oedema
One of the many pregnancy massage benefits is increased circulation, which assists the body to remove waste and excess fluid through the lymphatic system.
Oedema swelling is a common occurrence during pregnancy, and is caused by low circulation and extra pressure on the blood vessels.
Pregnancy massage can reduce oedema and the build-up of fluids in swollen joints effectively.
Alleviates Muscle Pain & Cramps
As we all know, massage’s primary use case is to help alleviate muscle pain and cramps.
This is especially true for pregnant women due to lack of mobility and awkward sitting/sleep positions and heightened motor neuron activity.
A number of women also experience sciatic nerve pain, especially in the later stages of their pregnancy and massage is great way to relax the muscle tension and reduce nerve pain.
Lowers the Chance of Premature Birth
Studies have shown that pregnant mothers who regularly received prenatal massage were less likely to give birth prematurely – compared to those who did not get a massage throughout their pregnancy.
Aids in Faster Recovery
Prenatal and postnatal massage can both assist your body to recover faster after the birth as well, by increasing the oxygen and nutrients to the area.
Pregnancy massage differs from regular massage..
In particular, the positioning during the massage is critical to the safety and well-being of both the mother and baby.
The massage will usually take place with the client lying on her side with extra supporting and comfortable pillows and bolsters.
Although there are parts of the body that should not be massaged when pregnant and a few things that the therapist will take into consideration, there is often a misconception surrounding the safety of pregnancy massages.
On the whole it is an excellent practice for pregnant woman and is completely safe. Be sure to find a massage therapist with the relevant prenatal massage training.
So, if you have not tried a pregnancy massage yet and feel that it would suit you, we hope this has put your mind at ease and given you extra incentive to get one asap!
All the best with your pregnancy and new born.