Featured Image Caption: Pregnancy Massage Therapy
Massage therapy is a therapeutic modality that is holistic in nature. It is used to help people achieve optimal range of motion and can ease tense or sore muscle as well. Massage therapy is also a versatile form of therapy and can help women who are pregnant in many significant ways.
For instance, massage therapy can make the delivery process easier. Excess activity in the fetus will be reduced, and many pregnant patients report feeling less anxious and depressed after having undergone massage therapy.
In fact, the majority report having lower levels of back and leg pain as well. The amount of massage therapy that the pregnant woman requires will differ since it depends on how far along she is in her pregnancy, as well as unique health factors.
Prenatal massage must be performed by a qualified and dedicated massage therapist who has experience in prenatal massage therapy. Pressure, particularly when applied during the third trimester, can cause uterine contractions that may prove unpleasant.
Here, we will delve deeper into the role that massage/prenatal therapy plays during the pregnancy process.
Benefits of Massage Therapy during Pregnancy
Massage therapy can help reduce the amount of pain that the patient experiences during the labour process. In fact, a recent study found that women who underwent massage therapy spent an average of three hours less time in labour than women who did not.
In addition, massage therapy has been found to reduce the amount of post-surgery pain that the woman experiences, as is often the case with a cesarean section.
Many pregnant women also experience great levels of back and leg pain during pregnancy and labour. Massage therapy is formulated to help reduce swelling, pain, and inflammation, while also enhancing flexibility and range of motion.
Furthermore, massage therapy has a myriad of mental health-boosting benefits. Oxytocin and other endorphins are released during massage therapy, thus enhancing the mood of the patient, while reducing bouts of anxiety and depression in the process.
Another noteworthy benefit of massage therapy is that it helps patients who suffer from insomnia or nocturia. Being pregnant can make it hard to sleep due to bloating, frequent urination, flatulence, and back pain.
By easing muscle tension and elevating mood, many expectant mothers will be able to sleep through the night thanks to the mental and physical health benefits of prenatal massage therapy.
As can be seen, massage therapy during pregnancy has a plethora of mental and physical health benefits that expectant mothers can take advantage of in order to benefit both mother and child.
Best Types of Massage Therapy for Pregnant Mothers
A deep-tissue massage can help reduce stress, tension, and swelling if you are pregnant. Your massage therapist will target areas of the body that are not vulnerable to blood clots during pregnancy such as the feet, shoulders, and back regions of the body.
By relieving strain on those areas, you may feel invigorated after having undergone a deep-tissue massage. Cramps, swelling, and sciatic pain are just some of the symptoms associated with pregnancy that a deep-tissue massage can help treat.
You will be able to sleep better, and many patients report feeling less depressed and anxious after their deep-tissue massage session. Deep-tissue massage will also help strengthen the immune system, while improving blood circulation in order to deliver more oxygen and nutrients to the growing fetus.
Swedish massage is another form of massage therapy that can help reduce joint pain and ameliorate labour outcomes. It has also been shown to lower postpartum depressive symptomatology and reduce nerve pain.
Shiatsu can help pregnant women form a greater sense of awareness of their growing child and their own bodies. It helps synchronize chaotic energies by optimizing energy flow throughout all of the body’s meridians.
In other words, shiatsu can help you bond with your infant in a more meaningful and deeper manner. Optimizing energy transience may also boost your immunological response and promote overall well-being.
Safety Tips for Massage Therapy during Pregnancy
If you are currently going through a high-risk pregnancy, then you should talk to your doctor before undergoing any form of massage therapy.
If you have a skin condition or injury, then the affected areas should not be rubbed or touched in order to reduce the risk of aggravation. You may also be allergic to certain types of oils or fragrances. If so, please speak to your massage therapist beforehand so that they avoid such materials while working on your body.
Massage therapy should also be avoided during the first trimester, which comprises the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. This is because the risk of miscarriage is at the highest during the first trimester.
Pressure points that involve the ankles, wrists, hands, legs, and pelvis should be avoided, as the risk of blood clot formation is elevated during pregnancy. Morning sickness symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting, may also be exacerbated after having undergone a deep-tissue massage. Thus, you may want to avoid a deep-tissue massage during the morning sickness phase of your pregnancy.
To Your Health!
Massage therapy, when performed by a caring, dedicated, and qualified professional, can help reduce joint and muscle pain and soreness during and after pregnancy. It has also been shown to reduce the risk of postpartum depression and may decrease anxiety and stress as well.
Many patients feel refreshed or energized after having undergone massage therapy due to the immune system and blood circulation benefits that it provides. You will also be able to sleep better, as massage therapy helps facilitate the proper balance of hormones in the bloodstream during pregnancy.
Finally, if you have any doubts about the benefits of massage therapy, then please speak to your doctor or midwife. Women who are at high risk of miscarriage, or have an underlying health condition, should not undergo massage therapy unless advised by their doctor.
By Erin Gregory
who is a blogger in Toronto. She is currently working as a Community Manager for several small businesses. She has graduated with honors from the University of British Columbia with a dual degree in Business Administration and Creative Writing.