This article lays out our top reasons for choosing pregnancy massage, supported by the hard facts.
Firstly, while there are many benefits to pregnancy massage, it is always something that should be discussed with your doctor/midwife first. There are some contraindication to Massage therapy during pregnancies
High risk pregnancy
Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH)
Previous Pre-Term Labour
You are experiencing severe swelling, high blood pressure or sudden, severe headaches
If you have recently given birth
It is vitally important to ensure your treatment is performed by a certified pregnancy massage therapist. Always ask for the therapist’s qualifications before seeking treatment. A qualified practitioner will know to avoid these areas, and will know how to address specific pregnancy and massage needs.
Pregnancy Massage may help to
- Reduce stress, anxiety and depression symptoms
Prenatal depression is quite common and carries significant risks to both mother and child. Studies have concluded that massage therapy is beneficial in significantly reducing depressive symptoms, stress and anxiety in pregnant women and less incidents of prematurity and low birth weights. Massage decreases cortisol levels and increases levels of serotonin and dopamine, which has been proven to lead to fewer complications during birth and fewer instances of newborn complications.
- Alleviate stress on weight-bearing joints, decreasing myofascial pain
Massage therapy has proven to be a safe and effective pain relief option. During second and third trimesters, a shift in a pregnant women’s centre of mass happena and causes an increase in lumbar lordosis (a postural position where the natural curve of the lumbar region of the back is slightly or dramatically accentuated). These postural changes are the predominant cause of stress on weight bearing joints such as the lower back and pelvis, For more information on how massage helps.
- Relieve tension, fatigue and headaches
Massage therapy is used to break down muscle tension, increase relaxation, and promote blood circulation, thus having a knock on effect reducing fatigue and headaches as you become more energised.
- Relieve muscle spasms and cramps
Massage increases flexibility, enhancing the ability to carry the extra weight and relieves spasms and cramps
- Improve nerve pain
Regular Massage therapy treatments helps release the tension on nearby muscles and can significantly reduce sciatic nerve pain, which is pain is common in late stages of pregnancy as the uterus rests on the muscles of the pelvic floor and lower back. with regular treatment.
- Improve blood circulation
Massage Therapy stimulates blood circulation resulting in improved nutrition, efficient waste removal and reduce pressure of bulging veins, increasing mother’s energy and can improve nourishment to your baby.
- Improve lymphatic circulation, reducing oedema (excess retention of fluid) in hands, legs and feet
Oedema is often caused by circulation problems and increased pressure on the major blood vessels. Massage stimulates soft tissues to reduce fluid retention, which also improves the removal of tissue waste by the body’s lymph system.
- Help you to sleep better
Early studies into massage for sleep quality and insomnia during pregnancy have revealed that exercise, massage and acupuncture may be associated with improved sleep quality during pregnancy.
- Decrease labour time, pain and need for medication
A recent study of labour pain showed that women who received massage therapy throughout their pregnancy experienced significantly less pain, and their labours were on average three hours shorter, and with less need for medication.
Originally published by Tania Meacher October 2015