At Healthy Being Wellness Center, we focus a good majority of our services on fertility and pregnancy therapies. From pregnancy, pre-natal massage to Hypnobirthing classes - we cater our facility and our services to expecting mothers.
The benefits of prenatal massage or massage during pregnancy:
Studies indicate that massage therapy performed during pregnancy can reduce
anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscle aches and joint
pains, and improve labor outcomes and newborn health.
Massage prepares your body for delivery by helping
increase elasticity and range of motion in the joints and muscles
associated with childbirth. And by helping blood flow in the legs,
massage can reduce the chances of edema, varicose veins and blood clots.
(If you already suffer from these conditions, then special precautions
must be taken and you should let your doctor know you’re planning on
getting a massage).
Massage therapy addresses different needs through varying techniques, one
of which is called Swedish Massage, which aims to relax muscle tension and
improve lymphatic and blood circulation through mild pressure applied to
the muscle groups of the body. Swedish Massage is the recommended prenatal
massage method during pregnancy because it addresses many common discomforts
associated with the skeletal and circulatory changes brought on by hormone
shifts during pregnancy.
Studies done in the past 10 years have shown that hormone levels associated
with relaxation and stress are significantly altered, leading to mood
regulation and improved cardiovascular health, when massage therapy was
introduced to women’s prenatal care. In women who received bi-weekly
massages for only five weeks, hormones such as norepinephrine and cortisol
(“stress hormones”) were reduced and dopamine and serotonin
levels were increased (low levels of these hormones are associated with
depression). These changes in hormone levels also led to fewer complications
during birth and fewer instances of newborn complications, such as low
birth weight. The evidence points strongly to maternal and newborn health
benefits when therapeutic massage is incorporated into regular prenatal
Reduction of swelling
Edema, or swelling of the joints
during pregnancy, is often caused by reduced circulation and increased
pressure on the major blood vessels by the heavy uterus. Massage helps
to stimulate soft tissues to reduce collection of fluids in swollen joints,
which also improves the removal of tissue waste, carried by the body’s
Improvement of nerve pain
Sciatic nerve pain is experienced
by many women in late pregnancy as the uterus rests on muscles of the
pelvic floor and lower back. The pressure of the uterus spreads tension
to the muscles of the upper and lower leg, causing them to swell and put
pressure on nearby nerves. Massage therapy addresses the inflamed nerves
by helping to release the tension on nearby muscles. Many women have experienced
significant reduction in sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy through regular
Other potential benefits of prenatal massage:
hen you’re choosing a pregnancy massage therapist, there are a few things you should look for:
- Reduced back pain
- Reduced joint pain
- Improved circulation
- Reduced edema
- Reduced muscle tension and headaches
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Improved oxygenation of soft tissues and muscles
- Better sleep
- The therapist maintains all appropriate licenses and permits for
providing Massage Therapy in the jurisdiction in which he/she practices.
Therapists are happy to show you documentation if you ask for it, so
don’t be shy.
- The therapist has received training in, and passed all course requirements, in a Prenatal or Pregnancy Massage Training Program.
Beyond these two requirements, the most important thing to look for
is someone who you feel comfortable with—if you feel uncomfortable
during your massage, you won't get all the benefits. Asking your friends
who they recommend is a good first step toward finding someone you
like. Are there any expectant mom blogs or forums in your area? Visit
them and ask for recommendations.