Pregnancy can be a real pain. Literally. Between round ligament pain, back ache and swollen legs, pregnancy can cause a lot of discomfort. Some women may want to schedule a massage to ease some of those aches. But is it safe?
Massage during pregnancy is safe, as long as you see a massage therapist who is licensed and is trained in prenatal massage. Like many other activities during pregnancy, massage does come with restrictions. For example, a pregnant client lies on her side instead of her stomach. Additionally, massage therapists steer away from stronger techniques like deep tissue massage and some parts of the body.
Not only is prenatal massage safe, but it has several benefits. Massage can alleviate some of the pain caused by pregnancy – particularly lower back pain from the additional weight in your abdomen and the additional pressure on your nerves. Massage can also help with the swelling common in the third trimester by helping to increase blood flow.
Massage also helps ease stress and anxiety. Whether it’s your first or fourth child, pregnancy is stressful. Worrying about the baby’s health, preparing for the new baby, trying to figure out how a new member of the family will change your life and, for some, concern about how siblings and pets will react to the baby quickly take a toll on you emotionally. Massage can help by increasing the levels of hormones that reduce stress. An added bonus to reducing that stress? One fewer thing to keep you up at night.
But for some women, the top benefit of receiving a massage during pregnancy is that it is relaxing and just feels good. And what woman – especially a pregnant woman – needs more justification than that?
Don’t forget about taking care of your body after the baby is born. Postpartum massage can be very effective for new moms, especially for those who had a difficult pregnancy or delivery. In addition to helping reduce pain, massage can help decrease depression while increasing quality of sleep (the quantity of sleep is up to your newborn). Furthermore, massage can support breastfeeding by helping the mother to relax, which increases milk production.
If you are a pregnant or new mom interested in learning how massage therapy can help you, please call me to set up an appointment.