There are many benefits to having regular massage during pregnancy. Patients have reported it can help many minor ailments experienced during pregnancy such as achy hips, backache and heavy sore legs due to fluid retention. It can also help with the emotional preparation for giving birth.
Patient Reported Benefits of Pregnancy Massage
Massage encourages blood and therefore oxygen and nutrient circulation around the body. This assists the work of the heart and lungs, and stimulates the body’s defence mechanisms. It also stimulates the release of toxins and other waste products from the body. The boost in circulation is good for baby too.
Increased circulation results in improved sensation, particularly in the extremities. As your pregnancy progresses, you might experience numbing of the hands and feet as baby puts pressure on nerves that feed these areas. Massage is great for easing tension and improving sensation to the extremities.
Massage therapy can prevent and relieve pain experienced through the lack of use or overuse of muscle groups such as repetitive strain injury and back pain. Massage relieves muscular tension, stiffness and spasm. It can also help to improve posture and joint flexibility. All these benefits are hugely helpful during pregnancy, particularly as the delivery approaches.
Massage calms and slows the heartbeat, lowers the blood pressure and brings a sense of balance and equilibrium to the body. Massage also improves psychological health. Studies show massage reduces feelings of stress and anxiety, and enhances feelings of well-being. Research shows that calm mothers equal calm babies, as our stress hormones do cross the placental barrier.
Massage has been scientifically demonstrated to increase alertness and attention to detail and accuracy. This is helpful as you reach the third trimester and you start to find ‘baby brain’ setting in. A lot of new mothers find this frustrating, in the early weeks after the baby is born therefore this is a wonderful time to have a little extra TLC.