9 Benefits a Mom to Be Should Know About Prenatal Massage 

May 12, 2022

The benefits of pregnancy massage are endless. It can help to relax the mind and body, ease muscular tension and aches, improve circulation, reduce stress and anxiety, and promote overall wellness during pregnancy.

Prenatal massage is a form of therapeutic bodywork specifically tailored to the needs of pregnant women. It uses gentle pressure and strokes to relieve the common discomforts associated with pregnancy, such as back pain, neck pain, and headaches.

Pregnancy massage can also help to improve sleep quality, boost energy levels, and reduce stress and anxiety. For many pregnant people, massage is an essential part of the self-care routine for many pregnant women.

If you are pregnant and considering massage therapy, consult your healthcare provider first. Once cleared for massage, find a therapist experienced in pregnancy massage and has received specialized training.

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Benefits of Massage Therapy During Pregnancy

1. Pregnancy massage can help reduce swelling in the hands and feet

Are you experiencing discomfort from swelling? Pregnancy massage can help reduce swelling in the hands and feet. This edema or swelling can occur due to the extra fluid retention during pregnancy. When a massage therapist massages you, it stimulates the lymph gland, removing toxins and inflammation, and minimizing inflammation in the joints.

Extra fluid can build up during pregnancy because the body produces more blood to support the growing baby. This can cause some severe discomfort, so it’s important to get rid of any excess fluid.

2. Reduce persistent aches and pain

If you are dealing with pregnancy-related sciatica or other types of nerve pain, massage therapy can help provide pain relief. Massage therapy can help release the tension in the muscles pinching the nerve. This will help reduce the pain and inflammation associated with sciatica nerve pain.

Tension headaches are also common during pregnancy. These headaches are caused by the increased levels of stress hormones in the body. Massage therapy can help relieve tension headaches by improving circulation and relaxing the muscles in the head and neck. Massage therapy can also help to release endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers.

Back pain is another common complaint during pregnancy. As the baby grows, the extra weight can strain the back and pelvis. This can lead to pain in the lower back, hips, and buttocks. Massage therapy can help to relieve this pain by loosening the muscles, improving circulation, and increasing blood flow in these regions.

3. Pregnancy massage can help reduce stress and anxiety

Pregnancy is a time of many changes, leading to increased levels of stress and anxiety. Massage therapy can help reduce stress and anxiety by promoting relaxation. When you are relaxed, your body can cope with the changes happening better. In addition, endorphins are released during massages which have a calming effect on the body for a mom-to-be.

4. Improve overall sleep quality

If you are having trouble sleeping, a pregnancy massage can help. This is because massage therapy can help reduce stress and anxiety, improving sleep quality. Massage therapy can also help relieve muscle aches and pains, making it easier to fall asleep. This will help you relax and get the rest you need.

5. Pregnancy massage can boost energy levels

Feeling tired all the time is common during pregnancy. This is because your body is working hard to support the growing baby. Massage therapy can help boost your energy levels by improving circulation and promoting relaxation. When you have more energy, you’ll better care for yourself and your baby.

6. Prenatal massage can improve circulation

Prenatal massage can improve circulation. This is important because it helps to ensure that the baby receives an adequate amount of nutrients and oxygen. In addition, with improved circulation, the placenta functions more efficiently and the baby is less likely to be born with low birth weight. Therapeutic prenatal massage can also help to reduce the risk of developing varicose veins because it improves circulation in the legs.

7. Massage can help to reduce the risk of developing stretch marks

Stretch marks are a common problem during pregnancy, affecting up to 90% of women. They occur when the skin stretches too quickly, causing the collagen fibers to break down. This can lead to permanent scarring. Massage can help to prevent stretch marks by improving circulation and promoting the production of collagen and elastin.

8. Maternity massage can help prepare the body for birth and labor

Therapeutic massage can prepare the body for the physical demands of pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum recovery. For example, regular massage can help to decrease the likelihood of developing stretch marks, increase energy levels, improve circulation and reduce swelling.

In addition, pregnancy massage can help to relieve pain in the lower back, hips and legs that is often caused by the extra weight and pressure of pregnancy. It can also help improve the digestive system's function and reduce stress levels.

9. It may also reduce the risk of postpartum depression and improve healing time

Postpartum depression is a common problem that can occur after giving birth. It is thought to be caused by hormonal changes and the stress of adjusting to motherhood. Pregnancy massage has been shown to help reduce the symptoms of postpartum depression by reducing stress and promoting relaxation.

What to Expect for Your Prenatal Massage

Before your prenatal massage, your therapist will ask you about any areas of discomfort you are experiencing. They will also ask about your medical history and any medications you are taking.

You will be positioned on your side during the massage, in a semi-reclining position, or a position you find comfortable. You should wear loose, comfortable clothing.

Your therapist will use gentle pressure and strokes to relax your muscles and ease your tension.

Most people find pregnancy massage to be relaxing and beneficial. However, some women may experience nausea or dizziness during or after their massage. If this occurs, let your therapist know to adjust the pressure or technique accordingly. If you have any other concerns or questions during your massage, please inform your massage therapist.

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Pregnancy massage is usually performed in a side-lying position, with the woman supported by pillows. The therapist will use light to medium pressure (a deep tissue massage is contraindicated) Your professional massage therapist may use special techniques such as effleurage (a smooth, gliding stroke) and petrissage (a kneading or compression stroke). It is important to communicate with the therapist about any discomfort you may feel during the massage.

Prenatal massage is generally safe for most women. However, a few conditions may contraindicate massage, such as placenta previa or preeclampsia. If you have any concerns, be sure to consult with your healthcare provider before booking a massage.

Contraindications for pregnancy massage

There are a few contraindications for pregnancy massage. First, massage should not be performed during the first trimester of pregnancy when the risk of miscarriage is highest. Pregnant women should also avoid massages with deep pressure, which can increase the risk of uterine contractions.

If you have one of the following health conditions listed, please consult your doctor before scheduling a pregnancy massage:

  • Diabetes
  • Preeclampsia
  • Eclampsia
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

If you have any concerns about whether or not a pregnancy massage is right for you, please consult your healthcare provider.

Is prenatal massage good for your baby?

While a massage feels relaxing for the mother, how does the baby benefit? A massage can help reduce stress hormones in the body, which can positively impact the baby. If the mother's anxiety and stress level decreases, the baby will also likely feel more relaxed. There is less cortisol being released, which has been found to positively impact the development of the baby's brain and immune system.

Prenatal massage has also been found to improve the mother's sleep quality, which can lead to better rest for both the mother and baby.

In addition, prenatal massage can help to improve blood circulation, which can provide nutrients and oxygen to the baby. Massage can also help to relieve muscle tension in the mother, which can make labor and delivery easier on both baby and the birthing person.

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When is the best time to get a massage during pregnancy?

There is no one perfect time to get a pregnancy massage, as every woman and her pregnancy is different. However, many women find that getting a massage during the third trimester is ideal due to the present feelings or pain, stress, discomfort, or swelling. Some massage therapists only work with pregnant clients during their second and third trimesters.

Another great time for massage is when a pregnant woman goes into labor. Here is a research article that indicates the benefits of massage during labor. This is an important technique that many couples utilize to reduce pain and improve labor outcomes.

How can massage help postpartum?

Postpartum is a phase after birth when the mother's body is going through a lot of changes. For example, the uterine muscles are shrinking back to their pre-pregnancy size, hormone levels are changing, and the body is adjusting to life outside the womb. All of these changes can lead to aches and pains, as well as fatigue and mental stress.

Massage can help with all of these postpartum issues. It can help to relax the muscles, improve circulation, and release endorphins (the body's natural painkillers). Massage can also help reduce stress and anxiety and enhance sleep quality.

Contact our team of licensed massage therapists at Southington Therapeutic Massage today to schedule a prenatal massage in CT!

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