Pregnant women are seeking out massage to help ease the discomforts of pregnancy. During pregnancy the mother’s body goes through many changes and pregnancy massage helps tremendously!
“Pregnancy is trendy. From expectant celebrities on the covers of People and Vogue to national television features on the do’s and don’ts of the pregnant state, the experience of pregnancy has come out of the closet – literally,” writes Kate Jordan, a pregnancy massage specialist. “Women are anxious to learn what’s best for their bodies and their babies as they move through the 280 days of pregnancy, labor, and the postpartum period.”
Pregnancy massage is usually done with the client lying on her side, supported with pillows. Massage sessions are usually thirty minutes to an hour. The focus is on the back, legs, shoulders, neck, hands and feet. Light to medium pressure is used.
Pregnancy Massage Benefits
- reduces anxiety and depression
- decreases pain
- decreases stress hormone levels
- improves breathing
- increases flow of nutrients to the placenta
- postural support relief of muscle discomfort, nausea, and edema (swollen ankles and feet)
Pregnancy massage isn’t just for the mother-to-be, baby also benefits!
“It’s good for the fetus, too, says Claire Marie Miller, one of the nation’s leading instructors in pregnancy and fertility massage. “When mother is relaxed, baby is relaxed,” she says.
Conventional medicine is also realizing the benefits of pregnancy massage.
“Some hospitals offer massage in antepartum and postpartum units, and the number is growing quickly,” says Carole Osborne, author of Prenatal and Perinatal Massage Therapy.
In 2009 Carole Osborne conducted a survey that found that the number-one reason pregnant women sought massage was for low-back and pelvic pain, followed by stress reduction, then upper-back, neck, and shoulder pain.
Pregnancy Changes a Woman’s Body
- organs are pushed aside to make room for baby
- hips widen and the pelvis shifts to bear the extra weight
- upper back muscles strain to support larger breasts
- ankles swell and feet ache
Massage helps the mother-to-be adapt to her body’s changing state.
The Postpartum / Recovery Period
Massage also helps the mother postpartum. It’s been said that it takes a year for a mother’s body to recover from the stress of physical changes. Massage will help this recovery process by relieving aches and pains and restoring full muscle function and movement.
“Massage for the new mom can go from nice to essential in the first few weeks after the baby arrives,” says Kate Jordan. “I like to think about my sessions with postpartum women as being my opportunities to give them a spa massage, to cosset them, to give them the support they might not be getting from family or friends,” says Jordan, who has been teaching postpartum massage for 30 years.
Has the new mom had a C section? There are massage techniques that reduce scar tissue formation and help healing.
Recent studies suggest that massage may help prevent or reduce prenatal and postpartum depression.
Woodstown Massage Boutique offers a pregnancy massage special, pay for three sessions (one for each trimester) and get a fourth session free! We call this the “fourth trimester” massage, the all important recovery massage.
Call today, 856-7691373, to book a pregnancy massage for someone you love!
Be sure you get clearance from your doctor before you try a massage, especially if you:
- Experience nausea, vomiting, or morning sickness
- Are at high risk of miscarriage
- Have a high-risk pregnancy such as placental abruption (where the placenta slightly detaches from the wall of the uterus)
- Have pre-term labor
Please tell your massage therapist about these conditions or any other health issue. As always, check with your doctor as to whether massage is advised.