Be a Relaxed and Happy Mommy-to-be
Therapeutic massage has been considered beneficial for overall health for centuries. This was true for pregnant women in India and China during ancient times and is still true today. Pregnant women today can also experience the muscle relaxation and tension reduction that prenatal massage can give.
Is Prenatal Massage Different from Regular Massage?
There are parts of the body of a pregnant woman that should not be massaged, and the anatomy of a pregnant woman as well as the position of her body all need to be taken into consideration for. There are points on the wrists and ankles that can stimulate pelvic muscles including the uterus when pressure is applied.
Pregnancy massage is beneficial throughout the pregnancy. The massage can be a full body Swedish massage that is for general good health or a light massage that focuses on particular spots such as cranial sacral therapy, circulatory work and reflexology. It is recommended to find a massage therapist who has been certified in massaging prenatal women, but most massage therapists are trained in some prenatal massage.
A woman should consult her doctor or mid-wife before beginning massage if she has a pregnancy that is considered high risk by her doctor or if there is hypertension that has been induced by the pregnancy. Previous early labor, preeclampsia, high blood pressure, severe headaches or severe swelling are also conditions that should be shown to a doctor before beginning massage.
The Main Benefits of Prenatal Massage
Each woman will respond differently according to her unique situation. Prenatal massage will help most women experience:
- Relaxation and stress reduction
- Increased lymph and blood circulation which reduces swelling
- Relaxed muscle cramps in the neck, legs, hips, lower back and legs
- Reduced stress on weight-bearing joints
- Reduced labor pain
- Increased elasticity of the skin
- Emotional support
- Increased oxygen in the blood by 10 – 15 per cent
- Released endorphins into the nervous system and brain
Prenatal Hormone Regulation
There have been recent studies that show women who received prenatal massage bi-weekly for five weeks had a reduction in the stress hormones such as cortisol and norepinephrine, and the serotonin and dopamine levels increased. With the reduction of bad hormones and the increase of good hormones, there were fewer complications during the birth and fewer newborn complications including low birth weight. This clearly shows the benefit therapeutic massage has when added to regular prenatal care.
Edema is swelling of the joints during pregnancy and is caused mainly by bad circulation. This is because the uterus puts pressure on the major blood vessels. Massage will stimulate the soft tissue and reduce the collection of fluids that put pressure on weight bearing joints.
Reduce Nerve Pain
Sciatic pain is the main type of pain experienced by women during late pregnancy. The leg muscles become tense because of the pressure of the uterus. Massage helps release the tension to relax the nerves and reduce the pain. It is recommended to have prenatal massage regularly especially in the last two months of pregnancy.
Massage can also help during labor. Keturah Day Spa can provide pregnancy massage to help women through pregnancy. There are some techniques that a partner can learn. It may also be useful for the partner to be with the expectant mother during massages. They can learn the right and wrong things to do to help the pregnant person relax and become more comfortable.