Pregnancy can be a wonderful experience for an expecting mother, but it may also include some hurdles to overcome. Many women experience aches and pain, soreness, tenderness, stiffness, and another bodily discomfort throughout their pregnancy.
Many pregnant mothers experience varying degrees of discomfort during their pregnancies due to weight gain, the baby’s position, and a general change in their bodies. Almost all women can benefit immensely from prenatal massages.
Prenatal massage isn’t just great for reducing stress and discomfort either; it can also have health benefits for the expecting mother and child.
Research shows prenatal massage therapy can help reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscle aches and joint pains, and improve labor outcomes and newborn health. Hormone levels associated with relaxation and stress are significantly altered when prenatal massage is introduced to women’s prenatal care.
This type of massage has become quite popular, because it promotes emotional and physical calmness and allows the pregnant mother to enjoy a massage while ensuring the safety and health of the baby. Learn all about the benefits and safety of prenatal massage during pregnancy.
Prenatal Massage Research
Studies have shown that prenatal massages can be especially beneficial during a woman’s second and third trimesters of pregnancy, since that is when she is usually the most uncomfortable and in need of relief. Ensuring prenatal comfort and reducing stress during pregnancy is just one of the ways that massage therapy can improve overall health and wellness.
In fact, research has shown that massage therapy provides benefits for pregnant women that can help decrease stress and discomfort, relieve persistent muscle aches, decrease joint pain, and improve labor outcomes and overall newborn health. The benefits and safety of prenatal massage during pregnancy depend on each person and situation, but most pregnant women feel much better after this kind of massage.
Studies have shown that prenatal massage helps reduce stress hormones, such as cortisol and norepinephrine, and improves overall relaxation and health, including decreased depression, anxiety, and leg and back pain.
In women who received bi-weekly massages for only five weeks, hormones such as norepinephrine and cortisol (hormones associated with stress) were reduced, and dopamine and serotonin levels were increased (lowered levels of these hormones are associated with depression). Integrating massage leads to mood regulation and improved cardiovascular health. Prenatal massage can improve circulation, reduce tension, and improve anxiety levels–especially anxiety related to pregnancy.
Massage therapy can also prove beneficial to the child as well. Both pre-natal and post-natal massage therapy results in decreased excessive fetal activity and a lowered rate of fetal prematurity.
Prenatal Massage Benefits
Getting regular prenatal massages during pregnancy can help pregnant women relax but may also provide health benefits and ensure a more stable pregnancy and birth.
Your massage therapists or doctor can tell you about benefits and safety of prenatal massage during pregnancy, along with any instructions for pre and post massage care.
Prenatal massage has been shown to relieve:
- Joint pain
- Leg cramping
- Swelling in hands & feet
- Sciatica pain
- Neck and back pain
- Carpal tunnel pain
- Poor circulation
- Sinus congestion
- Stretch marks
While benefits will be different from person to person, and even pregnancy to pregnancy, prenatal massage is a great way to find natural pain and discomfort relief during pregnancy. When so many things (foods, medications, movements, etc.) are limited during pregnancy, it’s important to find a positive outlet for stress.
Prenatal Massage Safety
Many expecting parents are concerned about the safety of themselves and their child during the duration of their pregnancy. Luckily, prenatal massage is safe in all trimesters of pregnancy and offers many health benefits.
Prior to receiving a pre-natal massage, it’s important to tell your massage therapist about any relevant personal health history, such as any medical conditions, surgeries, or medications that could affect the massage. Providing relevant health information will help your massage therapist tailor the massage, determine the depth and pressure to use or decide of any alternate massage techniques should be used.
Prenatal massages are typically done with the pregnant woman lying on her side or in a massage table with cutouts and special padding, to prevent any safety risks of having a massage while lying flat on the back.
Since pregnant women are particularly susceptible to blood clots, massage therapists should avoid any deep tissue work–particularly on the legs.
Prenatal Massage at Elite Wellness
Elite Wellness provides prenatal massages to reduce stress and discomfort for expecting mothers. Whether you are just beginning to experience tension or stress in your first trimester, or are close to your due date, we offer massage to help you feel more at ease.
Our therapists are licensed and understand the unique needs of the pregnant client. We have a special pillow that will allow you to lay face down throughout the duration of your prenatal massage to maximize comfort and to take any pressure off your lower back.
Our massage therapists create a calming atmosphere and can also incorporate other forms of cushioning if desired to ensure the experience is as comfortable as possible for you.
The prenatal massage we offer at Elite Wellness will help with swelling and back pain. Prenatal massage is known to be extremely beneficial during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy to help with any pain or discomfort. Our team will help you understand the benefits and safety of prenatal massage during pregnancy and customize your massage for the best results.
The difference from Typical Massage
Prenatal massages may differ a bit from a standard massage, since they are specifically tailored to provide the most benefits possible to pregnant women. These kinds of massages may use a different level of pressure to ensure the health and safety of both mother and child.
These techniques that our massage therapists use are specific to the many anatomical changes a woman undergoes during pregnancy to ensure no harm to the mother or the baby.
For example, many pregnancy women feel more comfortable on their sides for the duration of the massage. Additionally, your therapist will avoid using deep pressure on your abdomen and legs and only target areas that you request.
A prenatal massage typically includes:
- Special pillows or massage tables with divots or cut-outs
- Massages and pressure applied while laying one one’s side
- Maximized comfort and taking pressure off the lower back
- Techniques to help with swelling and back pain
- Special massage oils, depending on prenatal needs
- Focus on lower back pain & sciatic nerve
- Stimulate of soft tissue to reduce fluid retention (edema & swelling)
Book A Massage Today
At Elite Wellness, health and wellness is our number one priority. Choose between 30, 60, 90, or 120-minute sessions, with a male or female massage therapist to ensure your comfort. Customize your massage to your needs to have a comfortable, healthy pregnancy.
The best way to learn about the benefits and safety o0f prenatal massage during pregnancy is to experience it firsthand. If you are in discomfort, try prenatal massage therapy to relieve pain and provide relaxation.
See a licensed massage therapist at Elite Wellness in Ashburn, VA for a pregnancy massage to help you relieve tension and discomfort during a pivotal time. Book an appointment for a prenatal massage online now!