The changes that happen to your body as it prepares for birth include weight gain, softening of bones and tissue, as well as water retention. These changes could lead to other complications like back ache, headaches, shortness of breath, trouble sleeping, and general discomfort. The good news is these pregnancy niggles are not immune to the power of touch, which is why massage during pregnancy can be so beneficial. It uplifts the body and mind, helping to eradicate pain and restore the joy of the most significant time in an expectant mother’s life.
A pregnancy massage is completely safe after the first trimester when it may compound morning sickness. Prenatal massage techniques differ according to how far along you are and what specific issues you might be experiencing. Don’t expect to lie on your back at all as the weight of your baby and uterus will press down on blood vessels and minimise circulation to your placenta, which should be avoided at all times. Instead, you will lie on your side with cushions for support, or on your tummy using a special bed with a hole to accommodate your growing belly. Deep-tissue work is approached carefully, because of a pregnant woman’s increased risk of blood clots, and prenatal massages are generally centered on gentle pressure for safety. Remember to always check with your doctor before having a massage during pregnancy if you suffer from preeclampsia, diabetes, morning sickness, abdominal pain, high blood pressure or bleeding.
The benefits of pregnancy massage
Getting a prenatal massage does so much more than relax the mom-to-be. Health benefits – physical and psychological – extend to both mom and baby to ensure not only a healthy pregnancy, but a positive birthing experience, too. Some of the benefits of pregnancy massage include:
- Reduces stress hormones and anxiety
- Increases blood flow
- Flushes out toxins
- Balances connection between body and mind
- Improved heart health
- Relieves joint and muscle pain
- Helps insomnia
- Reduces swelling in hands and feet
- Eases headaches
- Helps with symptoms of depression
- Improves labour
- Improves health of newborn baby
Studies have found that expectant moms who had regular prenatal massages greatly reduced their risk of postnatal depression, and also prepared their bodies to better handle the stress of labour itself. By taking care of your body and mind during pregnancy, you can look forward to a positive birth experience, as well as a deeper connection with your bouncing bundle of joy.
*Article by Natural Living Spa & Wellness Centre