Massage has been effectively used as a therapeutic therapy for centuries to reduce stress, relieve muscular tension, and improve overall health. Likewise, massages during pregnancy also possess immense health benefits for the mother and developing baby. Prenatal massage is a popular massage technique performed for women in prenatal care.
Benefits of Prenatal Massages During Pregnancy
Apart from being a wonderful phase, pregnancy is also accompanied by discomfort of tendons, structural alignment changes, weight gain, and hormonal changes. There is no other better time for a woman to experience the benefits of massage on her body. Following are some listed benefits of prenatal massages during pregnancy.
1} Elimination of waste
Prenatal massages help eliminate waste products out of the body through the circulatory and lymphatic systems. This fights fatigue and gives the expecting mother an energy boost.
2} Controls blood pressure
Prenatal massages aids blood circulation and eases the load on the pregnant mother’s heart. It keeps her blood pressure under control and reduces varicosities. A normal blood pressure is extremely critical during pregnancy.
3} Reduces muscle tension
Pregnancy in later stages causes stiffness, sciatic pain and muscle cramping. Regular prenatal massages help reduce muscular discomforts such as muscle stiffness, tension, and cramping. Massage also enhances circulation and reduces the increased pressure on joints.
4} Hormonal Regulation
Pregnancy is unfortunately accompanied with raging changing hormones. Anxiety and depression are common symptoms in pregnancy that occur due to changing hormones. Prenatal massages reduces stress, anxiety and depression. It regulates the hormone levels in the body and provides a calming effect to the expectant mother.
5} Reduces sinusitis and headaches
During pregnancy, there is an increased flow of blood to mucus membranes. Due to this many mothers experience sinusitis and headaches. Prenatal massages involving stimulation and acupressure points provides dramatic relief for these discomforts.
6} Reduces Edema
Water retention and edema is a common condition in pregnancy. Prenatal massages process the excessive water and stimulates lymphatic drainage in pregnant women’s tissues. It also reduces swelling of legs and ankles that is a common symptom in pregnancy.
7} Nourishes the developing fetus
Prenatal massages function to increase systemic blood circulation. It also stimulates increase in nutrients and oxygen that reaches the fetal cells. This improves the health of the unborn baby.
8} Improves flexibility
In pregnancy, changing hormones relax the ligaments and tendons of the mother’s body to accommodate the growing belly. Prenatal massages additionally relaxes the surrounding muscles. It also improves flexibility and reduces muscle cramps thereby facilitating the birth process.
9} Enhances Sleep
One of the best advantages of prenatal massages is good sleep which an expectant mother requires. Prenatal massages relaxes the nerves and induces a calming effect to the brain. This ensures a good sleep for the expecting mother.
10} Transforms the body image
An expectant mother has a psychological impact due to physical and mental changes in her body. This psychological impact is one of the most challenging phases of pregnancy. The touch therapy that prenatal massages provide is vital for the pregnant woman’s physical and emotional well-being.
11} During labour
Prenatal massages provided during labour and birth reduces labour and lower back pain. It also improves the contraction and speeds up the delivery process.
Body Position During Prenatal Massage
The best position considered for prenatal massages is side lying position. Strong tables are required so that it provides optimal support to the pregnant woman. However, before starting a prenatal massage, it is important to consult an expert to understand the best position required for the massage.
Precautions for Prenatal Massage
Pregnant women should consider their health care provider’s advice before taking a prenatal massage. Women experiencing the following complications need to take expert opinion before opting for a massage
- High risk pregnancy
- High blood pressure
- Severe headaches
- Pregnancy induced hypertension
- Previous pre-term labour
- History of miscarriage
- Recently given birth
Prenatal massages improve the overall health of a pregnant mother. Prenatal massages have shown to improve mental and physical well-being of mother significantly. Massage gives attention to both the mother and developing fetus from within. Additionally, a pregnant woman required the much needed rest that she truly deserves. Prenatal massages ensures that pregnant women get adequate rest. Consult an obstetrician or mid-wife before seeking a prenatal massage.