Massage during pregnancyPregnancy Massage can be of enormous benefit to both the mother and the unborn baby. Massage during pregnancy emotionally and physiologically supports a woman during a time when her body is undergoing many changes and can help prepare her body for birth.
Pregnancy is a wonderful time for a woman, but with the joys of a new baby's development come many changes to the mothers' body, putting pressure on joints, ligaments and organs often causing discomfort and pain.
There is plenty of evidence which supports the numerous benefits of pregnancy massage. It can help to alleviate aches and pains and other common health problems associated with pregnancy. Preparing for the arrival of a new baby brings much excitement, but also plenty of stress. Massage can help to reduce stress levels due to its calming effect.
Furthermore, research shows that the baby can benefit greatly from massage as 'feel good' endorphins released by the mother during massage are passed onto the baby.
Receiving regular massage whilst pregnant can make the mother more aware of her own body. This can help with the ability to relax during the 1st stage of labour, often resulting in shorter and easier births, less pain and a lower rate of postnatal complications (e.g. fewer premature births). Furthermore, it can lead to increased breast feeding success due to increased prolactin and mammary development.
Summary of benefits of pregnancy massage•Reduction of swelling in hands, feet and ankles
•Lessening of sciatic pain
•Easing muscular discomforts in areas like the low back & neck, calf cramps, it also helps with tension and tightening that can be experienced throughout the body
•Toning of loose muscles and relaxation of tense muscles and can help increase flexibility.
•Helping with general relaxation which in turn can decrease insomnia
•Increasing blood and lymph flow which can help increase the elimination of toxins through the circulatory and lymphatic systems, this can also help with fatigue.
•Increasing oxygen in the blood, sometimes on up to 10-15% after a massage.
•Strengthening of the immune system
•Stimulation of the release of endorphins, the body's natural pain killers, into the brain and nervous system.
•Helps relieve anxiety or depression
•Helps increase blood circulation, which in turn delivers more oxygen and nutrients to the mother and baby.
•Can be used during the birth as well as after making both experiences easier and more comfortable
•Eases stress mothers often feel after the birth
There are many more benefits! This list will hopefully give you an idea of how beneficial massage can be during pregnancy.