6 Benefits of Pregnancy Massage
Pregnancy Massage is a specialised area of massage therapy. As a general guide the frequency of pregnancy massage aligns with your antenatal appointment schedule. It does depend on your health history and what you injuries you may have sustained pre-pregnancy (more about this HERE). Regular treatment will enable greater access to these benefits listed below:
Improved Quality of Sleep
Massage increases the production of serotonin and melatonin which regulate our sleep rhythms, thus producing positive effects on sleep quality.
Reduced Stress & Anxiety
Massage reduces the stress hormone cortisol, and at the same time it increases the feel good hormones that improve mood, immunity, vitality and also decrease pain levels
Swelling of the feet, and to a lesser extent the hands, is quite common during pregnancy. Massage encourages the movement and redistribution of fluid that has pooled in the extremities, reducing associated tightness and pain.
Lower Stress Hormones in Baby
Research shows that mothers suffering with depression that received massage throughout their pregnancy had babies with cortisol levels lower than those that didn’t receive massage throughout their pregnancy.
Relief of Muscular Pain and Cramping
Massage relieves muscular tension & reduces motor neuron activity which can help calm leg cramps, for example. Massage also assists with neck & shoulder pain, tension headaches, lower back pain or discomfort.
Decreased Likelihood of Premature Birth
Mums that received massage regularly were less likely to have a premature birth than those that did not receive massage at all.
Before Pregnancy Massage
As a precaution, check with your perinatal care provider (eg Obstetrician, Midwife) that massage is appropriate for you at your current stage of pregnancy. It is especially important, for example, if you have experienced bleeding, spotting, abdominal pain or cramping, or have recently undergone a test procedure, such as an Amniocentesis (Amniotic Fluid Test).
If you have the all clear and are experiencing a normal pregnancy, BOOK your massage appointment and start enjoying the benefits.
Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M., Hart, S., Theakston, H., Schanberg, S., Kuhn, C. & Burman, I. (1999). Pregnant women benefit from massage therapy. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology. Viewed 23/02/2014 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10212885
Field, T. (2010) Pregnancy and Labor Massage. Viewed 25/02/14 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2870995/]
Field, T. & Diego, M. (2008). Cortisol: The Culprit Prenatal Stress Variable. International Journal of Neuroscience. Viewed 25/02/2014 http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00207450701820944?journalCode=nes
Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M., Diego M., Schanberg, S., & Kuhn, C. (2005). Cortisol Decreases And Serotonin And Dopamine Increase Following Massage Therapy. Viewed 26/02/2014 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/clipboard