Getting massage therapy while you are pregnant can be very beneficial. This is often referred to as “prenatal” massage*. Prenatal massage benefits are numerous and can help relief many symptoms associated with pregnancy.
Prenatal Massage Benefits
As for anyone, massage is very effective in reducing pain. Low back pain can be common among pregnant women, due to the changes in the body and increased weight of the fetus in the womb. Massage can help reduce lower back pain and joint pain that may be common.
There can also be increased edema, a.k.a. “swelling,” especially in the lower extremities, while pregnant. Massages can help to reduce edema, increase circulation, and thus increased oxygenation of the body tissues. This can also help to eliminate muscle tightness and spasm.
Massage is also thought to decrease stress and affect anxiety and depression. The effects of massage can decrease cortisol levels, which is the stress hormone. Decreased cortisol and increased melatonin can affect the circadian rhythms thus improving sleep cycles as well. This means improved sleep, which is so important for our body to rest and rejuvenate.
Depending on where you are at in your pregnancy, there may be other benefits of massage, certain considerations, or other areas of focus for the massage therapist to work with you on. These can be discussed prior to your massage, in order to individualize your treatment. There may be certain positions, props and accommodations needed, so when you call to schedule your massage, it is important to let them know you are pregnant.
*We recommend consulting your doctor prior to scheduling a prenatal massage