Benefits of Prenatal Massage Therapy
Pregnancy can be a great joy but it can also be stressful especially when a pregnant woman feels physical discomfort. The benefits of prenatal massage therapy are many. Like a regular massage, it helps in improving blood circulation, easing sore spots and relaxing tense muscles, it basically makes an expectant mother feel better.
During the first trimester, the changes in a woman’s body are invisible but can be very uncomfortable to the expectant mother. Aside from cravings, bouts of nausea, fatigue, and dizziness can be felt. Some even experience mood swings. The second and third trimesters are the periods where physical changes can be noticed. Since the uterus is expanding because of the growing fetus, leg cramps and back pains are also experienced. With all the physical, structural and emotional changes a woman experiences during the stages of pregnancy, the feeling of depression and anxiety is inevitable. To cope up with these emotions and physical discomforts, it’s important to give the mom-to-be an opportunity to relax. Less stress generally means better sleep, mental focus and balanced mood – things needed to nurture the life growing inside her.
Relief of Everyday Symptoms
Massage for pregnant women offers a number of benefits, and it’s always a good idea to discuss with your therapist any everyday symptoms you’d like to see relieved. Those might include:
- Headaches can be relieved by massage focusing on the head, neck, and shoulders. In addition, maintaining optimal levels of stress relief through massage reduces the chances of migraines or tension headaches by relaxing trigger points and muscle spasms.
- Muscle tension created by carrying the extra weight of a baby can be relieved by encouraging blood flow to the afflicted areas. This provides more nutrient-rich oxygen and also increases the flow of lymphatic fluid, which sweeps away toxins and metabolic waste.
- Fatigue, backaches, leg cramps and swelling/edema can all be relieved through various types of massage for pregnant women.
- The ordinary aches and pains of pregnancy are countered by the release of serotonin, your body’s natural anti-pain chemical, which is stimulated by massage.
Studies have proven that massage therapy for pregnant women is generally safe and can provide a whole range of comfort to a lot of pregnancy aches and pains, though women with a high-risk pregnancy, pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) or preeclampsia should first consult their OB-GYN or midwife before undergoing such activities.
At Jenna Birtch Registered Massage Therapy Clinic we happily provide the benefits of prenatal massage therapy. If you are pregnant and interested in massage therapy or wish to speak to a Registered Massage Therapist, please contact the clinic at 519-854-9515.
By Jenna Birtch, RMT
- Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M., Taylor, S., Quintino, O., & Burman, I. (1997). Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 18, p. 286-291
- Harish, J. (1996). Ayurvedic Massage: Traditional Indian Techniques for Balancing Body and Mind. p. 111
- Cutler, N., Institute of Integrative Healthcare Studies. 12 Reasons to Administer Prenatal Massage. www.integrativehealthcare.org/mt/archives/2006/11/12_reasons_to_p.html. Article accessed online 5/7/2013.