Did you know massage therapy is the most common alternative therapy recommended during pregnancy, even over chiropractic?
According to three separate studies posted on The National Institute of Health:
- Depressed pregnant women given frequent prenatal massage experienced fewer prenatal complications.
- Pregnant women receiving massage therapy experienced significantly less pain, and their labors were on average 3 hours shorter with less need for medication.
- Pregnant women receiving massage therapy reported decreased depression, anxiety and back pain that lasted throughout the postpartum period.
- The most important finding was the 75% lower incidence of prematurity and 80% lower incidence of low birthweight in the massaged, depressed women.
The benefits were seen across every single study done!
So what exactly is a prenatal massage?
Prenatal massage uses the same techniques in Swedish— utilizing long, flowing strokes. In the first trimester, all massage is generally kept lighter and gentler. From the second trimester till the end, the pressure can be as firm as is comfortable for you. Prenatal massage works specifically with all areas of the body that are being overworked or become tense, so particularly the low back, upper shoulders, and pelvic area, all whilst being professionally draped. Gentle stretches are incorporated into each prenatal massage treatment that target the quads, back, and pelvis. Unless in your first semester, your positioning will always be side-lying on the table with many pillows to keep you propped up. You will always be comfortable, and, before turning to your other side, you will always be encouraged to take a bathroom break!
Why should I consistently receive prenatal massage?
In addition to what was discovered in the studies above, prenatal massage helps to relieve:
- Pain in joints and muscles
-stiff neck, backaches, leg cramps
- Edema in hands, feet, and ankles
- Sciatic pain
- Cortisol levels, and other stress-related hormones
- Labor pains
One of the concerns some mothers have is that a prenatal massage will cause a miscarriage. Prenatal massage will not cause a miscarriage. If, however, you’ve experienced more than three miscarriages in the past or have concerns regarding this, it’s always best to be cleared from your doctor for massage first.
Prenatal massage is safe and wonderful for you and your baby. There are certain health conditions, however, to be aware of, that would cause prenatal massage to be contraindicated, which would include:
- Pre-eclampsia (characterized by severe swelling, high blood pressure, or excessive weight gain)
- Deep Vein Thrombosis
- A high-risk pregnancy
- Uncontrolled high blood pressure
- Decrease in fetal movement
If you have any concerns about prenatal massage, get cleared from your doctor first. You want to take care of yourself and take care of your baby! And, in doing so, consider combining prenatal massage and pelvic floor therapy into your monthly healthcare regimen. If you’re unaware of pelvic floor therapy, research it! As a massage therapist and office manager out of a physical therapy office that specializes in pelvic floor therapy, I can tell you on a personal eyewitness level that this is so needed for every prenatal and postpartum mother! I am running a prenatal special with a local pelvic floor therapist, who is incredible, that is being offered at a very affordable rate that you can find directly on her business page here. If you are pregnant or know someone who is, I highly recommend this special, as you will not find another professional rate out there that is this all-encompassing and personalized.
Please reach out if you have any questions; my contact information is on the contact page, and you are more than welcome to call or text me at anytime. I would love to answer your questions, and, if I can’t help you with something, I’d love to refer you to someone who could.
I hope and pray the new life inside of you is nurtured in every way possible, as each one is so beautiful and precious.
“Before I formed you in the womb,
I knew you,
and before you were born,
I consecrated you…”