When you’re looking for relief from sore muscles and swollen joints during your pregnancy, there are a number of ways to sneak a massage into your daily life – a quick foot massage from your partner, a back massage, or a professional prenatal massage. But if you are someone wondering what it actually is, what to expect and even if it’s safe or not, we’ve got you covered. Read along to find out all you need to know about prenatal massages.
What Is Prenatal Massage?
Many expectant mothers turn to massage therapy during pregnancy to calm sore, achy muscles and relax before the baby arrives. A prenatal massage is very similar to a full body massage that you get at the spa. The key difference is that the masseuse will make a few modifications to ensure the safety and comfort for you and the baby.
Is It Safe?
With all this discussion about massaging and relaxing, you probably want to know when you can get a massage, right? Precisely, you can be massaged at any point during your pregnancy, but you’ll find that most spas will not allow women in the first trimester to receive a massage
Experts say it’s best to avoid getting any massage in the first trimester when miscarriage risk is highest. For some women, massage can start off a detoxification process. During a detox, your body is mostly doing a deep clean and getting rid of stored toxins. This can be a problem for pregnant mothers because some of the toxins may end up back in your blood and can be passed to your developing baby.
The Benefits of Prenatal Massage
You already know that a massage is simply relaxing, but relaxation is not the only benefit of massage. In fact, there are other benefits:
- Reduces stress: Expectant mothers have a lot on their minds – finances, health concerns, and the everyday stresses of pregnancy. A massage therapy can reduce the physical symptoms of stress, like tight muscles and increased pulse.
- Relieves joint pain and sore muscles: If you find your muscles and joints are sore recently, massage can help you relieve joint pain by keeping your muscles more flexible.
- Improves sleep: Many pregnant mothers find that increased worries and physical symptoms make it hard to sleep at night. Massage therapy can help with that.
- Reduces swelling: You might find yourself a little more swollen during your pregnancy, but the good news is that massage can help you reduce the swelling.
- Relieves headaches: Many women find that the hormonal shifts during pregnancy can lead to an increase in their headaches. In addition to addressing any other cause of headaches (for example dehydration), massage therapy can reduce headache frequency.
- Alleviates heartburn: Pregnant mothers know the struggle of pregnancy heartburn. Prenatal massage helps relieve heartburn by relaxing your nervous system and reducing stomach pressure.
- Improves circulation: This is one of the biggest benefits of massage for centuries, whether you are pregnant or not. By improving circulation, your body can deliver more nutrients and oxygen to your baby. This is significant because the more nutrients and oxygen baby receives, the better they can grow and develop.
- Stabilizes hormones: Prenatal massage can help in reducing your stress hormone, cortisol, and increasing endorphins, the feel-good hormones.
- Improves nerve pain: Prenatal massage during pregnancy can help relieve nerve pain. Since the muscle is loosened, the muscle is less likely to press on the nerve and cause pain.
- Makes delivery easier: Women who receive a prenatal massage regularly during pregnancy have relatively shorter labors (about three hours shorter on average) and less demand for any pain medication. This is probably due to lowered stress levels.
- Relieves lower back pain: As your center of gravity shifts during pregnancy, you might fee extreme lower back pain. Sciatica and relaxed ligaments also cause your lower back pain, but a prenatal massage can help improve these symptoms.
- Reduces risk of premature labor: Prenatal massage is thought to reduce your risk of premature labor because it is responsible for reducing your cortisol levels.
This is all you need to know about getting a prenatal massage. It will ultimately help you relax and focus more on yourself and your baby’s growth. If you are still in doubt, you can consult with your doctor freely.