Massage therapy during pregnancy is a wonderful complementary choice for prenatal care. It is a healthy way to reduce stress and promote overall wellness.
Studies indicate that massage therapy performed during pregnancy can reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscle aches and joint pains, and improve labor outcomes and newborn health. Massage is recommended during pregnancy because it addresses many common discomforts associated with the skeletal and circulatory changes brought on by hormone shifts.
Is prenatal massage safe throughout the entire pregnancy?
Prenatal massage is safe and effective in most pregnancies up until you welcome your baby into the world (and after, if you are lucky enough to find the time!). Women with healthy, low-risk pregnancies can benefit greatly from the variety of massage techniques offered by our professional massage therapist, Sheri. Many women claim regular treatments make labor easier because it prepares the muscles for the hard work of giving birth – reason enough to make massage a regular part of your prenatal care!
Are there risks? Women experiencing high-risk pregnancies and those with pre-eclampsia, placental dysfunction, clots, severe hypertension with activity restrictions, pre-term labor with previous pregnancies, or threatened miscarriage, should consult their prenatal care provider before considering prenatal massage.
We all know massage makes you feel great, but did you know that massage benefits you differently, in different stages of your pregnancy? Massage may help you with:
Studies show prenatal massage hormone levels (associated with relaxation and stress) are significantly improved, leading to better mood regulation and improved cardiovascular health. Women who receive bi-weekly prenatal massages will decrease nor-epinephrine and cortisol (“stress hormones”) while increasing serotonin levels (low levels of these hormones are associated with depression). These hormone level changes lead to fewer complications during birth and fewer instances of newborn complications, such as low birth weight.
Improvement of Nerve Pain
Many women in late pregnancy experience sciatic nerve pain as the uterus rests on muscles of the pelvic floor and lower back. The pressure of the uterus spreads tension to the muscles of the upper and lower leg, causing them to swell and put pressure on nearby nerves. Prenatal massage therapy addresses these inflamed nerves, by helping to release the tension on nearby muscles.
Reduction of Swelling
Massage increases circulation. For pregnant women this can mean reduced swelling and water retention, which eases cramps and spasms.
The benefits don’t stop here. In addition to hormone regulation and reduced swelling/nerve pain, women who integrate massage into their prenatal care can also experience the following benefits:
• Alleviate morning sickness
• Relieve headaches
• Reduce fatigue
• Increased energy
• Alleviate leg cramps
• Alleviate back aches
• Improve Sleep
• Increased blood flow
• Improve lymph circulation
• Reduce water retention
• Increase skin elasticity
• Reduce stress on over-worked joints
• Prepare pelvic muscles for birthing
Massage After Delivery
Massage after delivery can help to restore muscle tone in the abdomen and re-position the pelvis. Depending on the conditions during the delivery, some women feel up to a massage a week or so after delivery, while for others it may be beneficial to wait 6 weeks or more. Check with your doctor to determine the best time to receive a massage following your delivery
If you are expecting a tiny miracle to enter your life soon, you are probably filled with a lot of anxiety and emotion about what to expect as you transition into motherhood. Come on in and pamper yourself with a prenatal massage with Sheri! To schedule your therapeutic prenatal massage, call 262-408-7597 or book here!
Of course speak with your doctor before getting a prenatal massage, especially if you are having a high risk pregnancy, pre-eclampsia, per-term labor or are experiencing severe swelling, high blood pressure and sever headaches.
Written By: Cayla Zahn