Muscle cramps, fatigue, nausea, back pain, swollen feet, and heartburn! Creating life is a natural process, but that doesn’t mean it’s comfortable. While some women feel great throughout their entire pregnancy, others experience every discomfort imaginable. Thankfully, there are several steps a mom-to-be can take that will relieve their discomfort. Eating a healthy, nutritious diet, gentle exercise like walking and yoga, and prenatal massage can all make pregnancy much more pleasant.
For an expecting mom, prenatal massage offers physiological, emotional, and psychological benefits. It’s different from a regular massage because it focuses on the particular needs of a mom-to-be as her body goes through the dramatic changes of pregnancy. A qualified prenatal massage therapist knows how to adapt the technique for a pregnant woman in each trimester of her pregnancy.
For the pregnant woman, prenatal massage can relieve mental and physical fatigue, improve circulation, blood flow, and improve the function of sore or stiff joints and muscles. This non-invasive and gentle form of therapeutic bodywork can also ease the discomforts of pregnancy while nurturing the emotional needs of the pregnant mother and helping her get ready for labor and delivery.
There are a number of health benefits prenatal massage can bring. Some of these health benefits include the following:
Improved sleep quality. Deep tissue massage helps the increased production of melatonin hormone and serotonin compound in the body. As a result, people get to have their sleep rhythms regulated. When a pregnant woman receives a massage, it improves the quality of her sleep which promotes a good overall effect on the body.
Lowers stress and anxiety levels. Cortisol is referred to as the stress hormone. When a pregnant woman is introduced to massage therapy as part of prenatal care, the level of cortisol in her body is reduced significantly. This lets her experience good hormones that have been known to improve mood, vitality, and immunity.
Lessens swelling of the joints. Edema is a medical term used for swelling. It is a common occurrence during pregnancy, and is caused by low circulation and extra pressure on the blood vessels. In order to stimulate the soft tissues and lower the buildup of fluids in swollen joints, deep tissue massage is recommended for pregnant women. At the same time, massage is able to improve the lymph system’s ability to remove tissue waste in the body.
Alleviates muscle pain and cramps. Pregnant women also commonly experience muscle pain and cramps. These discomforts usually occur due to muscular tension and heightened motor neuron activity. With the help of a specialist experienced in pregnancy massage, these can be greatly reduced.
Reduces nerve pain. A number of women experience sciatic nerve pain, especially in the late stages of their pregnancy. This is because their uterus rests on the muscles in the lower back and pelvic floor. When this happens, the pressure extends tension to the upper and lower leg muscles which result in swelling in these areas. Massage specialists releasing the tension in nearby muscles resulting in less sciatic nerve pain throughout their pregnancy.
Lowers risk for premature birth. Studies have shown that pregnant mothers who regularly received prenatal massage therapy were less likely to encounter a premature birth as compared to women who did not get a massage throughout their pregnancy.
Reduces the baby’s stress hormones. Apart from helping the pregnant mother, massage also lowers the stress hormones in the baby. Research has shown that massage plays a vital factor in raising the baby’s cortisol levels even if they are still inside their mother’s womb. Because of this, it is safe to say that mothers aren’t the only ones who receive the health benefits of pregnancy massage.
Is prenatal massage safe throughout the entire pregnancy?
Women can begin massage therapy at any point in their pregnancy – during the first, second, or third trimester. The benefits of massage can improve overall prenatal health for many pregnant women. Along with the guidance and advice of a prenatal care provider, massage therapy can be incorporated into routine prenatal care as an emotional and physical health supplement shown to improve pregnancy outcome and maternal health. Consult with your midwife or obstetrician before beginning any new therapeutic practice.
Body & Soul Massage in Salem Ma offers Prenatal Massage by therapists that have specialized training. We also offer a prenatal table that allows the Mom to be to lie with the belly supported, relieving the pressure on the low back and sciatica.
To learn more visit www.bodysoulsalem.com or call 978-825-0040.