Massage therapy during pregnancy is a wonderful complementary choice for prenatal care. It is a healthy way to reduce stress and promote overall wellness. Prenatal massage is therapeutic bodywork that focuses on the special needs of the mother-to-be as her body goes through the dramatic changes of pregnancy. Massage therapy relieves many of the normal discomforts experienced during pregnancy, such as backaches, stiff neck, leg cramps, headaches and edema (or swelling). In addition, massage reduces stress on weight-bearing joints, encourages blood and lymph circulation, helps to relax nervous tension-which aids in better sleep-and can help relieve depression or anxiety caused by hormonal changes.
Benefits of prenatal massage:
- Increases blood circulation, which provides more oxygen and nutrients to both mother and fetus and stimulates the lymph system, thereby increasing immunity and removal of toxins
- Soothes and relaxes the nervous system by releasing endorphins into the mother’s body.
- Offers a natural, safe, drug-free alternative choice for pain relief, since taking medications are often limited during a pregnancy for the sake of the unborn child
- Alleviates stress on weight-bearing joints and musculo-fascial structures
- Relaxes you and relieves tension
What to expect
Prenatal massages are adapted for the anatomical changes you go through during pregnancy. As your shape and posture changes, a trained massage therapist will make accommodations with special cushioning systems or holes that allow you to lie face down safely, while providing room for your growing belly and breasts. Or you might lie on your side with the support of pillows and cushions. Long, slow strokes and kneading movements in tense areas will be used, with special attention paid to the lower back, hips, and legs. If your aching in a particular area let your masseuse know, they should be able to focus on a particular area if it’s bothering you similarly to a normal massage and be able to give you the full body experience.