Not all couples get pregnant easily. Some cannot get pregnant at all. Being pregnant is a blessing: after all it precedes the arrival of the miracle of life. But that’s not all it is. It is also a period of time when a brand new life is developing within a woman wrecking havoc in her body.
The weight of the developing baby literally shifts the center of the expectant mom’s body which often causes lower back pain. Her blood volume increases by a whopping 50%! The increase in body weight puts extra pressure on the woman’s joints and causes swelling especially in the feet and hands. Hormone levels fluctuate and affect her mood. Pregnancy is a period of changes that stress out a woman in many ways and all these in addition to perfectly normal anxiety which accompanies every pregnancy.
Anticipating birth is a joyous time of preparation, making plans and creating new dreams, but it isn’t entirely stress-free. Every expectant mom worries, some are fearful of the upcoming birth experience, some stress over the changes a new baby will make in all aspects of their – and their family’s – life.
Things get more complicated by the fact that the baby’s safety takes precedence over the expectant mom’s aches and pains. The use of prescription and even over the counter drugs, including pain relievers and tranquilizers, is strongly discouraged to protect the health of the baby.
That’s why massage is such a welcome therapy during pregnancy. A massage can successfully and safely address many problems of a pregnant woman without chemicals which might harm the developing baby. Both, prenatal or postnatal massage can support the expectant and then, a new mom.
Pregnancy Massage What You Need To Know
Many physicians, certified massage therapists and people at large believe that a massage during the first trimester of pregnancy – when most miscarriages occur – isn’t safe. Pending a conclusive scientific explanation, it may be best to avoid massage in the earliest stage of pregnancy, but once the first trimester passes, it’s time to think about getting relief with a pregnancy massage!
The type of massage recommended for a pregnant woman is gentle and should be preformed by a certified massage therapist, preferably one trained in pregnancy massage.
According to WebMD, a study on prenatal massage therapy conducted at the University of Miami School of Medicine has confirmed that pregnancy massage does:
- Lower anxiety
- Decrease back and leg pain
- Improve sleep
- Decrease levels of the stress hormone norepinephrine
- Increase levels of the “feel-good” hormones serotonin and dopamine
- Decrease levels of cortisol, the stress hormone
- Contribute to a better mood
The American Pregnancy Association states on its Website:
“Studies indicate that massage therapy performed during pregnancy can reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscle aches and joint pains, and improve labor outcomes and newborn health.”
Bottom line: pregnancy massage can help reduce many pregnancy-related health complaints. By stimulating soft tissue massage can reduce pregnancy-related lower back pain and the pressure on your joints and reduce swelling. By stimulating the lymphatic systems, massage facilitates the removal of toxins from your body…. Massage is good for you and will support you during the challenging months leading up to the blessed arrival.
Heads up: because pregnancy is such an important and delicate condition, a certified massage therapist trained in performing pregnancy massage may ask you for a signed recommendation from your physician and a liability waver from you.