Pregnancy massage is massage therapy specially designed for the expectant mother’s needs. It is also called pre-natal massage or maternity massage. It can help alleviate some of the most common discomforts experienced by pregnant women.
When a woman becomes pregnant, her body begins to rapidly adjust to the new levels of hormones circulating throughout her system and her emotional balance is also affected. Throughout pregnancy, a woman’s body changes in ways she never imagined before. Muscles soften, ligaments lengthen, skin stretches, and organs shift around as the baby grows in its underwater home. Pregnancy is by far one of the most transformational experiences a woman will ever go through.
Massage during pregnancy helps to aid and support the mother through a time of important changes in her body and mind. It enhances the function of muscles and joints, improves circulation and general body tone, and relieves mental and physical fatigue. The gentle, noninvasive approach of prenatal massage can ease discomfort associated with pregnancy, help the mother to prepare for labor and give her nurturing emotional support.
Pregnancy Massage Techniques
The therapist will take special care to ensure your comfort throughout the prenatal massage session, using fluffy pillows to support your body.
Pregnancy massage can be performed by:
- Having an expectant woman lie on her side, propped up with pillows
- Utilizing specially designed maternity cushioning systems, which provide support and allow the expectant mother to lie on her stomach
- Positioning the mother-to-be in a semi-reclining position propped up by pillows.
Each session is deigned to your needs which change with each trimester of the pregnancy.
Pregnancy Massage Benefits
Pregnancy massage offers a full range of psychological, emotional and physiological benefits. They include:
- Alleviates stress on weight-bearing joints and musculo-fascial structures
- Assists in remedying many of the common discomforts experienced during pregnancy: muscular discomforts, lower-back pain, upper-back pain, headaches, leg cramps, sciatica, stiffness, tension and knots, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches, heartburn and acid reflux, fatigue, varicose veins, nasal congestion, shortness of breath, edema of the lower extremities, neck pain, interscapular pain, sacroiliac and hip joint pain and constipation
- Increases blood circulation, which provides more oxygen and nutrients to both mother and fetus and stimulates the lymph system, thereby increasing immunity and removal of toxins
- Stabilizes hormonal levels and helps relieve depression or anxiety caused by hormonal changes
- Soothes and relaxes the nervous system by releasing endorphins into the mother’s body. As a result, the expectant mother feels more relaxed and at ease, and will also sleep more easily and more deeply
- Assists in maintaining good posture and adjusting to a changing alignment caused by the baby’s increasing weight. Massage increases muscle tone and flexibility, enhancing the ability to carry this extra weight while also relieving aches and pains, leg cramps and muscle spasms
- Eases the load on the heart and helps keep blood pressure in check
- Enhances the pliability of skin and underlying tissues
- Supports the return of blood to the heart and increases blood flow to the uterus and placenta. With the enormous demands placed on the circulatory system during pregnancy, blood volume may increase up to 60 percent compared to pre-pregnancy levels. As pregnancy progresses and the uterus enlarges and presses deep into the pelvic bowl, venous return to the heart is hampered
- Prepares the mother-to-be for an easier delivery with its sedating effect on the nervous system, promoting relaxation and stress relief
- Offers a natural, safe, drug-free alternative choice for pain relief, since taking medications are often limited during a pregnancy for the sake of the unborn child
- In addition to the physical benefits, pregnancy massage provides expecting women with the emotional support and nurturing touch provided by nonsexual human touch and energy.
Pregnancy massage was once thought of as a luxury few could participate in, but now it is becoming more and more recognized as a very powerful tool in holistic medicine. Taking the time to breathe and become present offers an endless trail of positive effects. As we birth the next generation, may we remember to become as awake and aware of the process as possible. Our children will thank us for this presence felt even while still deep inside the mother’s body. Through pregnancy massage, mothers experience greater joy and ease in their Beings and bodies, they will know that this is their natural state.