Many people have benefited from having a therapeutic massage, as it helps relieve muscle tension and improve overall health. However, prenatal massage has received indecisive responses from the health community regarding its purpose and safety. A woman’s body undergoes extensive changes during pregnancy, resulting in back pains and aches especially in the latter stages. Prenatal massage is a natural way of easing these ailments and other discomforts associated with pregnancy. It is incredibly beneficial to the body because it relieves muscle tension and prepares a woman for a smooth transition into the labor process. This article looks at five major benefits of prenatal massage to the mother and baby.
- It Relieves Pain and Discomfort
An expectant woman may experience many discomforts during pregnancy such as back pain, stiffness, varicose veins, headaches, and leg cramps. A prenatal massage focuses on the pressure points to alleviate stress on joints and tension in muscles. Many women usually experience sciatic nerve pain during the latter stages because the uterus rests on the muscles of the lower back and the pelvic floor. The pressure build on the uterus spreads tension to the upper and lower leg muscles, causing them to swell. This puts pressure on the nearby nerves, which leads to intense pain on joints, muscles, and general body weakness. Prenatal massage therapy helps address inflamed nerves by releasing the tension exerted on nearby muscles. This helps to relieve pain and discomfort experienced by women during pregnancy.
- Improves Blood Circulation
Edema is a health condition caused by swelling of the joints during pregnancy. It occurs when the heavy uterus increases pressure on major blood vessels causing low blood circulation to other parts of the body. Prenatal massage helps reduce the collection of fluids in the swollen joints by stimulating the soft tissues. The methods used in pregnancy massage improves the removal of tissue waste transported by the lymph system in your body. Improving blood circulation allows the transfer of more nutrients and oxygen to both the mother and the baby. It also facilitates better sleep by releasing endorphins that relax and soothe the mother.
- Decreased Levels of Depression
Massage therapy during pregnancy helps to relieve anxiety and depression that occurs because of hormonal changes. It stabilizes the hormonal levels and helps regulate mood. The techniques used in prenatal massage have a sedating effect that facilitates stress relief and relaxation. Relaxation during pregnancy increases the chances for a positive birth experience, as it enhances the well-being of the mother and baby. Prenatal massage decreases fear and anxiety through physical nurturing and emotional support.
- Preparation for Labor
The musculature of a woman’s back, pelvic floor and abdomen must remain relaxed in order to give birth with less effort. It prepares the uterus to labor without resistance because the techniques used in the massage increase muscle and joint flexibility. It helps relieve pain in the leg muscles and pelvis, which are involved in childbirth. Bodywork during pregnancy promotes relaxation and self-awareness, which are necessary to participate actively in the birth process.
- Improves GI and Respiratory Functions
The growing uterus may restrict the diaphragm area causing shortness of breath and hyperventilation in expectant women. Some common discomforts of the gastrointestinal (GI) system include nausea, vomiting, heartburn, and indigestion. Prenatal massage therapy helps to alleviate these symptoms by increasing the level of blood circulation in the body. As a result, it helps to improve respiratory functions by relieving pressure on the heart. Prenatal massage also improves skin pliability and flexibility of muscles that aids in the mother’s ability to carry the baby.
Any Precautions for Prenatal Massage?
Most professionals recommend side lying as the best position for a pregnant woman during massage. Massage tables that are designed with a hole to fit the uterus may not be reliable as they can exert pressure to the abdomen. Allowing the abdomen to dangle stretches out the uterine ligaments, which may cause discomfort to the mother. It is always important to consult your massage therapist to overcome the risks associated with prenatal massage.
Pregnancy causes unusual strains on ligaments, tendons, and muscles, which can bring pain and discomfort. The techniques used in prenatal massage alleviates pain by releasing the tension in your muscles. It also improves your cardiovascular health and respiratory functions as you get ready for the labor process. Women who receive prenatal massage increase their chances for a positive birth experience, as it promotes reduced pain perception when they transition to labor.