Body aches and muscle cramps are the most common discomforts faced by pregnant women. While medications are available, doctors often recommend massage therapies to alleviate the strains associated with pregnancy. Prenatal massages are conducted by a certified prenatal massage therapist who can adjust the massage techniques to ensure the safety and comfort of both the mother and the baby.
Studies have shown that prenatal massage therapy can significantly reduce the rate of prematurity by 75% and the incidence of low birth weight by 80%. As the body undergoes numerous changes during each trimester of pregnancy, incorporating prenatal massage therapy can enhance overall well-being and promote optimal health.
If you are confused whether a prenatal massage is good for you or not, you’re in the right place. To clear all your doubts, this blog will list all the key benefits of prenatal massage therapy that should be convincing enough for you to consider one for yourself.
1. Relieve Pregnancy Aches and Pains
Weight gain during pregnancy causes changes in your posture, leading to new aches and discomfort. In pregnancy, doctors usually do not recommend adding additional medications to your list, and there aren’t many options available to alleviate the pain. In that case, prenatal massage is a great way to help soothe the pain through the application of gentle strokes on the sore areas.
2. Reduction in Anxiety
Pregnancy is a wonderful time to celebrate womanhood and femininity. However, it may also provoke anxiety in women as their bodies undergo huge changes. Massage therapy can be a helpful tool for women to reconnect with their bodies and feel more comfortable with the changes. Prenatal massage has been shown to increase blood flow, reduce stress hormones, and promote a sense of relaxation and calmness. This connection between the mind and body is particularly important during pregnancy, as women may feel disconnected from themselves while carrying a baby. An experienced prenatal massage therapist can provide a calming environment for women to discuss their pregnancy concerns, and provide guidance on normal changes in the body.
3. Improved Sleep
During pregnancy, sleep can be evasive for most women, especially during the first and third trimesters. This is due to the increasing congestion and heartburn that keeps you out of your bed often. Also, you might be taking midnight bathroom breaks while dealing with out-of-control hormones that can make it hard for you to have a good night’s sleep. With prenatal massage therapy, the production of melatonin and serotonin increases, regulating sleep rhythms and promoting a good overall effect on the body. Note that melatonin is produced by the brain in response to darkness which helps with sleep and the timing of your circadian rhythm. Serotonin is another important hormone that improves the quality of your sleep and the brain uses it to make melatonin.
4. Reduction in Edema and Reconnection
When too much fluid accumulates in your body tissues, it leads to swelling, particularly in the ankles and feet, called Edema. As the baby grows in the woman’s womb, the pressure in the uterus increases which spreads to the upper and lower legs, causing them to swell. Prenatal massage therapy addresses the inflamed muscles by flushing extra fluid, such as lactic acid and other cellular waste substances from the body via the lymphatic system, reducing muscle spasms and fatigue.
5. Ease Shortness of Breath
During pregnancy, the heart typically beats harder than usual to increase blood flow through the body and into the placenta, making the mother feel short of breath. Additionally, as the baby increases in size throughout the pregnancy, it takes up more space leaving less room for your diaphragm and lungs to expand easily. In that case, prenatal massage therapy is effective to ease respiratory discomfort by using light strokes over intercostal muscles that in turn release constricted blood flow and improve the breath.
Pregnancy is one of the experiences that push forward the limit of human endurance. Women undergo a variety of postural, weight, and hormonal changes that can be very painful to deal with. Prenatal massage therapy is a great way to control the pain and fatigue that comes with pregnancy while ensuring greater vitality and nourishment for the baby.
If you are pregnant and want to feel relaxed emotionally and physically, book a prenatal massage therapy session with Zen Massage Therapy today. Our trained and certified therapists will help you feel calm and relaxed, ensuring that the treatment is tailored to your needs.