Prenatal Massage

During the nine transformative months of pregnancy a woman’s body will not only undergo drastic changes physically, but also emotionally.  Studies indicate that massage therapy performed during pregnancy can reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscle aches and joint pains, reduce swelling, and improve labor outcomes and newborn health.

Hormone Regulation

One of the many benefits of prenatal massage is the assistance in hormone regulation.  As a result of massage, Dopamine and Serotonin levels(“happy neurotransmitters”) are increased and Cortisol(“stress hormone”) is decreased.  The biochemicals that are released during a massage to relax the mother also cross the placenta and calm the baby.

Increased Circulation

Another benefit from prenatal massage is the increase in lymphatic and blood circulation.  By stimulating the blood system more energy-giving oxygen and nutrients are pumped into your cells and this increases blood flow to the placenta.  The increase of lymphatic circulation will help reduce edema(swelling), which is caused by collection of fluids in joints.

Other benefits of prenatal massage may include:

  • Eases backaches, headaches, shoulder & neck aches that may be a result of muscle tension and/or shifts in posture due to increasing weight
  • Decreases pain in pelvic/hip area
  • Improves digestion
  • Reduces fatigue
  • Lessens Sciatic pain
  • Improves sleep
  • Reduces leg cramps associated with pregnancy
  • Mother leaves the session more relaxed which has been shown to increase fetal nutrient uptake

How is a prenatal massage different from a regular massage?

Massage during pregnancy differs from a regular massage in several ways.  First of all, positioning during a massage is critical to the safety and well-being of both the mother and the baby she is carrying.  Second, there are parts of the body during pregnancy that should not be massaged.  Also, a lighter,soothing and relaxing pressure of touch is used rather than a deep, percussive pressure.

The benefits of  massage can improve overall prenatal health for many pregnant women.