While expecting a new child is a joyous occasion, expecting mothers may experience not-so-joyous symptoms, like back pain and insomnia. If you are looking for a way to relax and relieve symptoms, you may want to try a prenatal massage. Read on to learn more about this service.
Is it safe?
Prenatal massage is considered safe, but be sure to talk with your doctor first to make sure this would be a good therapy for your situation.
Light- to medium-pressure massages are safe for women; you shouldn't get a deep, trigger-point massage. Be sure to avoid aromatherapy along with your massage, as this can cause nausea or even contractions.
When you are done with your massage, be sure to stay hydrated so that you can recover better. Since massage causes a buildup of metabolic wastes in your bloodstream due to increasing your circulation, it's important to drink water to help flush byproducts and reduce soreness.
How can you get comfortable?
Because traditional massage tables aren't designed for expectant mothers, you'll need to let the massage service know beforehand that you are pregnant so that they can prepare a massage chair or a cushioned table with prenatal cut-outs (to give your stomach room). Lying on your side on a standard table can also be an option.
What are the health benefits?
There are many known health benefits of prenatal massage. For instance, the American Pregnancy Association says that massage therapy can help with improved cardiovascular health and mood regulation. Massage therapy helps to regulate hormone fluctuations; it reduces stress-related hormones (like cortisol) and raises serotonin and dopamine levels, which can help you avoid depression.
Joint swelling is common during pregnancy, and a light-tissue massage can help to move lymph and improve circulation so that you aren't experiencing pressure from swelling.
Sciatic nerve pain is also common during pregnancy, since the uterus rests on the muscles of the lower back and pelvic floor, thus causing pressure on nerve bundles. A prenatal massage can relax muscle tension, thus reducing nerve compression and back pain. Low back pain is the most common cause for sick leave after delivery, so using massage to relieve your pain now could have future gains as well.
Lastly, some women find that it's hard to get comfortable and fall asleep, so they may struggle with insomnia. However, massage has been shown to alleviate insomnia and help side effects related to insomnia, such as headaches, anxiety, and digestive problems.
As you can see, there are many health benefits to be gained by prenatal massage therapy. Reach out to a professional in your area for more details.