The Benefits of Prenatal Massage Posted by Tiffany Amorosino on June 15, 2013 in

Pregnancy is a time when you need to take care of yourself and your bundle of joy on the way. Massage therapy during pregnancy is a wonderful complement to your prenatal care, reducing stress and promoting overall wellness for both you and your baby.

 Is prenatal massage safe throughout the entire pregnancy?

Prenatal massage is safe and effective in most pregnancies up until you welcome your baby into the world (and after, if you are lucky enough to find the time!). Women with healthy, low-risk pregnancies can benefit greatly from the variety of massage techniques offered by a professional massage therapist. Many women claim regular treatments make labor easier because it prepares the muscles for the hard work of giving birth - reason enough to make massage a regular part of your prenatal care!

Are there risks? Women experiencing high-risk pregnancies and those with pre-eclampsia, placental dysfunction, clots, severe hypertension with activity restrictions, pre-term labor with previous pregnancies, or threatened miscarriage, should consult their prenatal care provider before considering prenatal massage.

Trimester Benefits

We all know massage makes you feel great, but did you know that massage benefits you differently, in different stages of your pregnancy? Massage may help you with:

Hormone Regulation
Studies show prenatal massage hormone levels (associated with relaxation and stress) are significantly improved, leading to better mood regulation and improved cardiovascular health. Women who receive bi-weekly prenatal massages will decrease norepinephrine and cortisol (“stress hormones”) while increasing serotonin levels (low levels of these hormones are associated with depression). These hormone level changes lead to fewer complications during birth and fewer instances of newborn complications, such as low birth weight.

Improvement of nerve pain
Many women in late pregnancy experience sciatic nerve pain as the uterus rests on muscles of the pelvic floor and lower back. The pressure of the uterus spreads tension to the muscles of the upper and lower leg, causing them to swell and put pressure on nearby nerves. Prenatal massage therapy addresses these inflamed nerves, by helping to release the tension on nearby muscles.

Reduction of swelling
Massage increases circulation. For pregnant women this can mean reduced swelling and water retention, which eases cramps and spasms.

The benefits don’t stop here. In addition to hormone regulation and reduced swelling/nerve pain, women who integrate massage into their prenatal care can also experience the following benefits:

First Trimester
• Alleviate morning sickness
• Relieve headaches
• Reduce fatigue
• Increased energy

Second Trimester
• Alleviate leg cramps
• Alleviate back aches

Third Trimester
• Improve Sleep
• Increased blood flow
• Improve lymph circulation
• Reduce water retention
• Increase skin elasticity
• Reduce stress on over-worked joints
• Prepare pelvic muscles for birthing

Massage After Delivery

Massage after delivery can help to restore muscle tone in the abdomen and reposition the pelvis. Depending on the conditions during the delivery, some women feel up to a massage a week or so after delivery, while for others it may be beneficial to wait 6 weeks or more. Check with your doctor to determine the best time to receive a massage following your delivery

Schedule an Appointment for Prenatal Massage

Bella Sante’s Prenatal Massage focuses gently on areas of discomfort common in pregnancy, such as lower back, swollen ankles and joints within a full body massage.

Our trained therapists use specialized prenatal cushions to optimize your comfort by effectively accommodating your changing body. We use a beautiful skin care line during your treatment designed specifically for the pregnant woman’s skin. The basq line uses the finest hand selected ingredients that strengthen and tone the skin for better stretch, helping to bounce back post pregnancy and support weight loss. These products are gentle and effective; they deliver results! Feel refreshed, renewed and pampered by experiencing this relaxing, beneficial and well-deserved treatment.

Call Bella Sante at 617.424.9930 or visit www.bellasante.com for more information and a complete menu of services.

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