The benefits of pregnancy massage

By: Anna Sadra Jul 04, 2012

What are the benefits of pregnancy massage?

Women can benefit from getting massages during and after pregnancy.

Many studies indicate that the human touch has a very therapeutic effect on a person. It can provide comfort during stressful times and even alleviate physical pain. This is probably why many doctors and therapists recommend massage to their patients. Women, especially, can benefit from getting massages during and after pregnancy. Here are a few of the benefits of pregnancy massage.

Reduce stress: Pregnancy puts the body through many physical and hormonal changes which can increase emotional and physical stress. This is not good for mother or baby. Massage can help lessen that stress by providing moms with some quiet time to think and by working out the kinks in their bodies.

Alleviate body pain: Hands-on pregnancy massage can provide moms with relief from cramps, spasms, and pain in the back, hips, legs, neck, and even face. It can also increase blood circulation which will reduce swelling, so no more swollen ankles.

Improve elasticity and strength: Massage improves skin and tissue elasticity which can help reduce stretch marks. It can also provide labor support and reduce pain during delivery.

It is obvious that massage is something every pregnant woman should invest in. Before you book an appointment with your local masseuse, however, there are a few things you should be aware of.
Pregnancy massage is not the same as a regular message. There are special techniques and positioning involved that ensure the safety of both mother and baby during the massage. Therefore, it is important to check that the masseuse is certified in pregnancy massage.

The table used for the massage should provide support to the body and belly. The tables with the belly holes in them can put pressure on the stomach and cause the uterine ligaments to stretch. A good masseuse will massage the mother in a semi-reclining position that is more comfortable to mom and avoids putting pressure on the abdomen. To massage the back, women should be laid on their sides. Call the masseuse prior to booking an appointment to verify the types of positions he or she uses during the pregnancy massage.

Prior to getting a pregnancy massage, it is important to get approval from your doctor if you have one or more of the following conditions:

  • Preeclampsia
  • High risk pregnancy
  • Pregnancy induced hypertension
  • Pre-term labor
  • Severe swelling
  • Sudden and severe headaches

While massage can be performed at any time during the pregnancy, it is probably a good idea to avoid it in the first trimester. In fact, many pregnancy masseuses will not massage women until their second trimester because of the high risk of miscarriage during the first 12 weeks. However, pregnancy massage is safe enough for women carrying multiple babies, though you may want to check with your doctor first to make sure there aren’t any mitigating factors that would be complicated by the massage.

Post-partum massage is also good for women. In addition to helping moms deal with the stress of taking care of a newborn, massage can help their bodies recover from the pregnancy and delivery quicker. For example, abdominal massage is good for getting the uterus to shrink to its pre-pregnancy size. A general massage can alleviate the soreness associated with delivery. Although you can usually get a massage within a day or two after delivery, always get permission from your doctor first.

While carrying a baby and giving birth is one of the most beautiful things in the world, there is no denying that it is hard on the body. Partaking in pregnancy and post-partum massages is a good way to alleviate the stress of pregnancy and ensure a healthy delivery.

Anna Sadra is a Registered Massage Therapist, Laser technician and Medical Esthetician with over 12 years of experience in the wellness industry. Anna enjoys being able to use her extensive knowledge to really help her clients achieve the results they are searching for. She enjoys spending time with family, friends and learning more about health, skin care & fitness.