The benefits of pregnancy massage

The benefits of pregnancy massage
Things that pregnant clients commonly complain of include: aching feet, sore neck, sore shoulders, fatigue, and upper and lower back pain. None of this seems surprising considering the postural changes and pressure on the spine associated with a rapid increase in weight over 9 months.

The benefits of pregnancy massage


Week by week pregnancy demands adjustment. For your pregnancy massage practitioner, this presents an opportunity to support these physical changes with body therapy.

Things that pregnant clients commonly complain of include:

  • aching feet,
  • sore neck,
  • sore shoulders,
  • fatigue, and
  • upper and lower back pain.
  • None of this seems surprising considering the postural changes and pressure on the spine associated with a rapid increase in weight over 9 months.
  • The good news is, these symptoms are often relieved with massage. Many women report feeling pain-free and completely relaxed after a massage.
  • Pregnancy massage has major benefits for:
  • improved sleep,
  • mood, and
  • general well-being.

In a world that doesn't slow down, the challenges of pregnancy and motherhood are often another layer of endurance in an already busy schedule. Taking time out for massage can put more emphasis on the importance of self-care and ease the muscular aches and pains associated with growing a baby. It also feels really great!

Staying connected to your body with pregnancy massage

Clients tell me that being pregnant has its ups and downs. Some experience an amazing connection with their bodies and are amazed every day by the miracle growing inside them. Others find the changes difficult, and issues relating to body image can be underscored during pregnancy.  Doing all the work of growing a baby can seem hard, especially if you are suddenly confronted by a body you can no longer control. There is something about being cared for during massage that calms the mind and restores positive feelings. In fact

Massage therapy has been demonstrated to be effective during pregnancy. Women who received pregnacy massage reported decreased depression, anxiety, and leg and back pain. Cortisol levels decreased and, in turn, excessive fetal activity decreased, and the rate of prematurity was lower in the massage group.

Curated from Pregnancy and labor massage 2010

The quote from the 2010 study above testifies to the benefits of massage not only for you if you are pregnant but also for outcomes for the baby. In conjunction with support from other caregivers,  massage can be a wonderful tool to help manage anxiety.

Helping progress labour


Other good news suggests that massage is also associated with easier labours.

In a study of labour pain, women who received massage therapy experienced significantly less pain, and their labors were on average 3 hours shorter with less need for medication.

Curated from Pregnancy and labor massage 2010

A great way to include birth partners in this is to bring them along to one or more of your pregnancy massage appointments. Your practitioner can talk your birth partner through some easy techniques to use during labour.

Helping prevent postnatal depression

In a study of women diagnosed with major depression while pregnant, massage was found to alleviate symptoms.

The massage therapy group women versus the control group women not only had reduced depression by the end of the therapy period, but they also had reduced depression 
and cortisol levels during the postpartum period. Their newborns were also less likely to be born prematurely (4 vs 16%) and with low birthweight (2 vs 10%).

Curated from Pregnancy and labor massage 2010

Massage is recommended at least every month through the second and third trimesters until around week 36. At this time, weekly massages may be more appropriate to keep mum and baby cool, calm and collected until birth. 

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