Pregnancy goes hand in hand with various emotions and experiences. Moms-to-be will feel joy, a sense of accomplishment, and excitement about their expected bundle of joy.
Unfortunately, for most moms, pregnancy won’t be a walk in the park. They will experience bouts of discomfort, fainting spells, morning sickness, and other symptoms that will make the next nine months uncomfortable and even intolerable.
Having a healthy diet, engaging regularly in allowed exercises or physical activities, and introducing certain changes in one’s lifestyle can help moms minimize or cope with the difficulties associated with pregnancy.
Massage during pregnancy is also a recommended therapy for women who are expecting. This particular type of natural therapy offers several health benefits for soon-to-be moms.
Getting a regular massage during pregnancy offers various health benefits. If you are expecting, here are some of the rewards you can expect when you get prenatal massage therapy:
Expecting moms will experience a change in their body posture. Pregnancy alters their center of gravity which, in turn, affects the musculoskeletal system.
The sciatic nerve sometimes becomes compressed when the muscles start to adapt to this new posture. And this will bring about low back pain or sciatica, a pain that radiates from the lower back down the leg.
Massage therapy loosens the muscles and releases the pressure on the sciatic nerve. Additionally, it can help increase the expecting mom’s range of motion and elasticity in the surrounding joints and muscles.
In expecting moms, upper back pain is also caused by the change in body posture and the sudden increase in breast size which can create muscle imbalance and tension.
When you get a massage, the muscle tension you are feeling will be relieved. It will also release trigger points and stretch shortened muscles thereby easing upper back pain.
Muscle pain and cramps are also a common painful symptom among many moms-to-be. This is because the muscles that help you stay upright are now working harder. This leads to an increase in the production of toxins that keep the individual muscle fibers together.
When the muscle fibers stick together, it aggravates nerve endings and causes pain and cramping in the legs.
If muscle pain is tormenting you, get a massage. The manual manipulation will break down the adhesion of the muscle fibers and release trigger points. This will provide relief to your pain.
Additionally, massage will improve circulation in the painful area to increase oxygen and stimulate the removal of toxins.
Many moms-to-be also suffer from swelling or edema. Their feet and legs expand due to this swelling.
This uncomfortable and unsightly physical condition is caused by poor blood circulation and additional pressure on the blood vessels.
Massage can effectively stimulate the soft tissues and lower the buildup of fluid in swollen joints. Additionally, this form of natural therapy improves the lymphatic system’s performance thereby enhancing the body’s ability to flush out tissue waste.
It is not unusual for expecting moms to worry about a lot of things for the whole nine months. Additionally, cortisol, which is also known as the stress hormone, is often higher in women during pregnancy.
Because of these two factors, some moms-to-be will always feel stressed out and anxious. And this can affect their physical, emotional, and mental health.
Massage therapy has been proven effective in lowering the level of cortisol in the body. After a session, you will notice an improvement in your mood and an overall feeling of wellness.
In addition, when you get a massage, you will also help reduce the baby’s stress hormones. This will help keep your baby happy and healthy while in the womb.
Finally, getting enough quality sleep is important for you and your baby’s health. If you have difficulty falling asleep early or you keep waking up at night, consider getting a massage.
Massage increases the production of melatonin and serotonin in the body. As a result, your sleep rhythms will be regulated. This ensures you get the right amount and better quality of sleep.
And when you are always well-rested, you and your baby will be more likely to stay healthy throughout the whole nine months.
Before you sign up for regular prenatal massage sessions, check with your specialist first if your body and health condition will allow you to safely get this type of therapy. Ask your doctor if he or she can recommend a massage therapist that specializes in pregnancy massage as well.
Massage offers many benefits that you should take advantage of during your pregnancy. It will also give you the same health benefits and even more once you have given birth. As such, consider including it in your routine to stay healthy and fit throughout your pregnancy.
Marc Innes is the Owner and Principal of the School of Natural Therapies, a training school for Massage & Holistic Therapies located in London. Marc began his career in the NHS, working in a number of managerial and training roles within the Ambulance Service in London. He spent much of that time educating and coaching medical staff. Over time, he developed an interest in all things complementary to Allopathic Medicine, in particular, Reiki Healing and EFT, which culminated in running a successful teaching and ‘energy healing’ practice. Marc is passionate about the massage and complementary therapy industry.