So, you’re pregnant! Congratulations! This is one of the happiest times of your life!
But if you’re like the majority of pregnant women, you’re experiencing at least some degree of discomfort on a regular basis. Your body might be aching as it prepares itself for childbirth. Hormonal changes could be stressing you out. And you probably miss being able to lie on your belly. (Sorry to remind you of all of that!)
You need relief! All that added weight you’re carrying is taking a toll on your posture, which in turn is causing all that neck and lower back pain. Maybe your gait has also been impacted and you’re experiencing cramping in your calves. You’ve heard of prenatal massage, but have you talked to your OB/GYN about receiving one?
Benefits of Prenatal Massage
Well, let’s talk about the benefits of prenatal massage and why you should consider making an appointment!
- Reduced back pain
- As we just mentioned, postural problems are likely causing your lower back pain. Massage eases muscle tension and increases flexibility; two benefits that can enhance your ability to carry all that extra weight!
- Reduced joint pain
- Your weight-bearing joints are taking a hit as your pregnancy progresses. In addition to relieving pain, massage also aims to mobilize your joints!
- Improved circulation
- Circulatory changes are associated with your hormonal shifts during pregnancy. Swedish massage, the recommended massage method for pregnant women, is used to improve lymph and blood circulation through the application of mild pressure to the muscles.
- Increased blood circulation provides more oxygen and nutrients for mom and fetus!
- Reduced swelling
- Fluid retention is a normal part of pregnancy, but that doesn’t make it any less uncomfortable. Special manipulation techniques can be used to stimulate soft tissues in order to reduce edema.
- Improvement of nerve pain
- Sciatica, which is pain that runs down the leg from the lower back, is experienced by many women in late pregnancy. Massage addresses inflamed nerves by helping to relieve the tension on nearby muscles.
- Emotional stress relief
- Mood swings and anxiety are common in pregnancy. Relaxing massage modalities have been shown to aid the regulation of stress hormones such as cortisol and norepinephrine.
- Better sleep
- Massage doesn’t just reduce your levels of stress hormones. It also increases the flow of happier hormones like dopamine and serotonin! Serotonin is known to promote and improve sleep.
- And if you’re the type of client who tends to fall asleep during massage, you have the option to sleep comfortably while lying on your belly! Pregnancy pillows are designed to to provide the ultimate support for expectant moms and their growing bellies!
Consult your OB/GYN
There you have it! Now you know what you can expect from prenatal massage! But before you call us at Moyer Total Wellness to request a session, make sure you consult your OB/GYN first. Every pregnancy is unique and your doctor will know if massage is safe for you and if any accommodations need to be made.
Be sure to share this information with anyone who may be interested in receiving prenatal massage! Your body does so much for you (and your little one!) and it deserves to relax!
*To ensure safety, we ask all prenatal clients be past first trimester (14 weeks) to receive massage therapy or have a note from their Doctor. (Chiropractic is OK during first trimester)
Written by: Katrina Jenkins
Photo Credit: Pixabay