The first time a woman receives a pre-natal massage they may consider it a luxury. But a massage during pregnancy and even during labor have shown to now only help reduce your stress, but also have shown to improve labor and newborn health!
The benefits of prenatal massage
All of the changes your body goes through while you are pregnant can mean that as well as the obvious things like an ever-growing belly and some sleepless nights, you can also find you suffer from unexplained and unusual aches and pains.
The last trimester, in particular, is well known for being a little uncomfortable as the baby grows and your body must accommodate the rapid growth rate. Massage, once you know that any aches you’re feeling are perfectly natural and nothing to worry about, can be a great way of easing the discomfort that growing another human being can cause!
If you’re working through any of the following conditions, you might benefit from a message.
A growing baby changes your posture, which can lead to lower backache and sometimes upper backache too. Massage helps to relax and loosen up tight muscles which reduces tension in your back and prevents backache.
As pregnancy progresses, you may find that your digestion slows down and you end up with complaints like constipation and heartburn. If you are stressed, it makes things even worse. Massage will help calm you and your digestive system back down, which may help to ease symptoms.
SPD or PGP
These conditions are caused by the ligaments and joints being softened, due to a hormone, called relaxin. This can lead to symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) and pelvic girdle pain (PGP), which can both be very debilitating, and massage helps the symptoms by releasing oxytocin and endorphins, to help relieve the discomfort.
Pregnancy can put pressure on your sciatic nerve which leads to pain down the back of the thigh, leg and sometimes the sole of the foot. Try a gentle massage if you’re suffering from sciatica, as it can sometimes help to release the pressure on the nerve that causes the pain.
Headache and Migraine
A common pregnancy complaint, headaches are often affected by hormones and made worse by stress or tension in the head, neck and shoulder area. Massage is well known for being excellent at headache relief, and can also be a Godsend if you can’t take any painkillers.
Massaging your belly with a nourishing oil helps to moisturize your skin and can help to prevent stretch marks forming. Be careful to use a blend that’s approved for pregnancy though – ask your therapist for advice if you’re not sure.
Massage in pregnancy – warning
You should always make sure that if you are booking a prenatal massage, it’s carried out by a therapist who is properly qualified.
If you are suffering from any of the following, please see a healthcare professional rather than your massage therapist.:
- Morning sickness or extreme nausea
- Heavy, bloody or watery vaginal discharge
- High blood pressure or/and pre-eclampsia
- High temperature or fever
- Abdominal pain or cramping
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Unusual or identified pains you have not had before
- Contagious illness
Massage is safe for anyone experiencing a healthy pregnancy and can help with common discomforts, as well as make you feel great!