Just for a moment think about the intense amount of changes that happen to during your 9 months of pregnancy. The changes are quite remarkable really, and they happen fast!
Massage will help you feel good during these changes, but the benefits go much deeper than that. Pregnancy massage makes up a large part of my practice as an LMT and is often something I do in conjunction with my work as a Doula. It’s a great way to connect with the women I work with, and begin creating a trusting relationship with women was well. I wanted to explain the reason why I believe it truly is a vital part of health care for pregnant women.
Each time I treat a pregnant woman in my office with massage I can see the benefits on their faces when they leave. They light up! It gives me great joy to provide a space for women to relax, connect with their babies and celebrate the changes that are happening in their bodies.
Below is a list of just some of the proven benefits of massage on pregnancy:
Relaxation and stress reduction – Massage offers emotional support and physical nurturing which reduces stress and promotes relaxation. This sense of well-being assists in creating a balanced feeling in your body. Relaxation also helps to reduce fear and anxiety which is an important part of having an easy labor.
Reduce pain and strains – As your pregnancy advances the uterus tends to change your center of gravity and rotates your pelvis forward. These adjustments can can leave a woman with an aching back, sore shoulders and tired legs. Massage can address these areas and a skilled prenatal therapist knows how to treat these common complaints in pregnancy. Prenatal massage has also been proven to reduce cramps and can treat common complaints like sciatica.
Improve blood circulation – By weeks 24 to 34, a womans blood volume alone has increased by 40%. Many women will notice this as swollen legs, wrists and ankles. Swedish and lymphatic massage support circulatory function, thus reducing swelling.
Preparation for labor – In order to give birth with less effort, the muscles of a woman’s back, abdomen and pelvic floor must remain relaxed. The more relaxed a womans body is the more likely she is to labor without resistance. Receiving bodywork during pregnancy also helps women to become more self-aware. She is able to connect to the places in her body that need attention and is better prepared to actively participate in the birth process. This quiet time allows you to connect with your baby intimately and gives your baby the gift of relaxation as well.
In summary, benefits of prenatal massage includes:
- emotional support and nurturing touch
- relaxation and self-awareness
- pain relief on weight-bearing joints, pelvis and lower back
- back, hip and neck pain relief
- preparation of the muscles and joints used during childbirth
- reduced swelling in hands and feet
- lessened sciatic pain
- fewer calf cramps
- headache and sinus congestion relief
Give yourself the gift of massage through your pregnancy!