Pregnancy is a unique experience.
It can be a very happy time as well as an emotionally draining time. Nevertheless, it is a special period in a woman’s life - one she’ll remember. A pregnant woman has the unique chance to listen to her body like she has never done before. She can become aware of her body from the inside, as the baby slowly grows within her.
Prenatal massage, specifically tailored to the needs of pregnant women, is, above all, about love and respect - this communion of two beings so intimately linked for a nine-month journey. The right touch can assist the mother to access unexpected depths within herself and contact with her unborn baby.
When a mother is being massaged and surrenders to deep relaxation, the baby can experiences the sensation of comfort and peace that a respectful human touch can offer.
Here are some benefits that prenatal massage offers:
- Emotional support and nurturing touch
- Relaxation and decreased insomnia
- Stress relief on weight-bearing joints such as ankles, lower back and pelvis
- Neck and back pain relief caused by muscle imbalance and weakness
- Assistance in maintaining proper posture
- Reduced swelling in hands and feet
- Relieves pain associated with pressure on the sciatic nerve in the
- Fewer calf cramps
- Relief from headaches and sinus congestion
In addition to the fact that massage during pregnancy just simply feels good, there are many other benefits for the mum-to-be and her baby too. A study conducted by Dr. Tiffany Field at the University of Miami School of Medicine shows that massage actually reduces stress hormones in the body. Regardless of individual circumstances, a pregnant woman’s body is challenged, changed and stressed in many ways. Prenatal massage gives special attention to the mother-to-be, which in turn nurtures the new life inside of her.
Nowadays scientists agree to the possibility that a woman’s emotional state during pregnancy might affect her developing baby. Researchers have found that severe and prolonged emotional stress causes an abnormal building of various chemicals in the mother’s blood that cross the placental barrier, just as drugs do, and enter the baby’s bloodstream. Presumably, this can lead to both physical and psychological problems, since experiments with laboratory animals provide evidence of both kinds of damage.
Massage helps keep skin supple to prevent stretch marks, strengthens muscles in preparation for labour and delivery, control blood pressure and allows for deeper breathing, enhances self-image, maintains posture and body balance, and strengthens the immune system.
Feeling Safe – During pregnancy you may have unusual reactions, for example, cry for no obvious reason, blush, feel drained and irritable, and simply very tired.
During the massage or after the massage, emotions may arise, whether in pain or in joy, so it is essential to feel safe in order to allow you to simply Be.
Is prenatal massage for you?
Massage during pregnancy is usually safe for most mothers. The following are the circumstances in which close caution should be adhered to when massage is to be received, and clearly discussed before:
- Heavy discharge (watery or bloody)
- Contagious illness
- Unusual pain
- High blood pressure
- Heavy morning sickness
- Abdominal pain
- Any malignant condition
Positions to take during massage:
Prenatal massage is a lateral massage. After 22 weeks of pregnancy, lying flat on your back can cause pressure on deep blood vessels, due to the growing of the baby, thereby reducing circulation to you and your baby. To avoid this problem, pillows are used to help you be comfortable lying on your side.
How often can I receive a massage during my pregnancy?
It's an individual choice. I have observed that when women start quite early during their pregnancy they understand the benefits of it and seem to make sure they do it on a regular basis. The frequency often increases towards the end of pregnancy as massage makes you feel very light (the sensation is slightly similar to being in water) and it should assure you a good nights sleep afterwards, which becomes more and more rare as the body grows in discomfort and is preparing to wake up reg