There are many benefits to pregnancy massage. Not only does it alleviate tension and stiffness of muscle, ankle, leg and back pain, but also increases energy to the mother and improves nourishment to the baby.
Massage therapy has long been recognized as an effective means of pain and stress relief. During pregnancy, the benefits of massage are enhanced - Relaxing the mother; reducing the flow of stress hormones to the baby; nourishing the baby by increasing blood flow; and relieving any stress and pain in the lower back and pelvic area of the mother that will help make for an easier labor, quicker recovery and lessen the chances of postpartum depression. Most women find that they sleep much better after a massage and are able to move with greater ease and comfort.
A pregnant woman’s blood volume increases as much as 40% (even more with twins or triplets). Massage therapy nourishes the heart by increasing the circulation of blood as well as other body fluids.
Not all massage therapists have received training in pregnancy massage, and not all are comfortable working with pregnant women. When making an appointment for a massage, it is important for a pregnant woman to inform the therapist of her stage of pregnancy as well as any special concerns or complications that have arisen during the pregnancy. In some high risk pregnancy cases, pregnancy massage may be contraindicated and a physician should recommend this form of therapy.
When you visit our office for a Pregnancy Massage, you will be massaged in a side-lying position with plenty of pillows or cushions for support. (Special massage tables exist that enable a pregnant woman to lie on her stomach, but leading experts in the profession do not recommend such prone positioning because of the stress it places on vulnerable circulation areas on the uterine ligaments, and on the uterus itself.)
Taking time for your self during pregnancy can be emotionally uplifting. The nurturing touch of massage allows pregnant moms to unwind and feel beautiful, relaxed, healthy and comforted during a period of added physical and sometimes emotional stress.
Postpartum massage focuses on helping to restore the body to its pre-pregnancy condition and to address the demands of breast feeding and of course, the physical and emotional stresses of carrying and caring for a newborn.
Massage therapy helps to speed a woman’s recovery by restoring tone to the muscular and connective tissue, realigns body weight to its original distribution, tones overstretched areas of the skin, increases circulation which assists in the removal of excess fluids, reduces swelling and nourishes the body.
As with all massage, postpartum massage eases muscle tension and stress from the overall responsibilities that correspond with caring for a newborn. Sleep deprivation, hormonal changes, and postpartum blues can all be reduced through massage.