Pregnancy massage can be of enormous benefit not only to the mother but also to the un-born baby. It emotionally and physiologically supports a woman during a time when her body is undergoing many changes and can help prepare her body for birth.
Research shows that the baby can greatly benefit from massage as ‘feel good’ endorphins released by the mother during massage are passed onto the baby.
Benefits of massage in pregnancy:
There is a lot of evidence which supports the tremendous benefit of pregnancy massage. It can help alleviate aches and pains and other common health problems associated with pregnancy. Preparing for thе arrival of a new baby brings much excitement, but also plenty of stress – and massage can help to reduce stress by its calming effect.
- Stimulation of the circulation – this will distribute essential nutrients and fluid to all the vital organs of the body, especially the placenta, which will feed and aid the development of the baby.
- Lymphatic drainage will eliminate toxins from the cells and blood and help reduce edema, which can be contributory factor in carpal tunnel and tarsal tunnel syndrome.
- Sluggish bowel movement is aided, helping to avoid constipation and hemorrhoids.
- Released muscular tension of the upper back, shoulders, lower back and hips, easing the discomfort of sciatica prolapsed discs and Synphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD), often caused by postural change and hormone release.
- Releases compression on thе nerves caused by muscle tension or edema.
- Massaging the intercostals and pectoral muscles will help the respiratory system and aid breathing during the pregnancy and birth.
- Induces deep relaxation and peaceful sleep (it is reported that women who sleep well during the last month of pregnancy have shorter labors).
- Helps to reduce emotional stress, anxiety and creates a cense of well being.
- Helps to lower or keep high blood pressure balanced.
- Massage encourage the release of oxytocin. This is a pain reducing hormone providing vital relief of pain during labor and birth.
Having regular massage whilst pregnant can make the mother more aware of her own body which will help with the ability to relax during the 1st stage of labour and often result in shorter and easier birth with less pain and a lower rate of postnatal complication (e.g. less premature birth). Another benefit is often more breast feeding success due to increased prolactin and mammary development.