Pregnancy is one of life’s most amazing experiences, but it can also be hard on the expecting mother’s body. Prenatal massage helps ease pain and reduce many of the discomforts associated with pregnancy.
Note that a massage therapist should avoid placing pressure on the abdomen and legs (particularly around the ankles) because it can dislodge blood clots, which are dangerous for pregnant women. For more information, you can visit Prenatal Massage Carlsbad to proceed.
Pregnancy is one of a woman’s most important and life-changing experiences, but it doesn’t come without challenges. Fortunately, there are many ways that a pregnant woman can ease the discomforts of her changing body and make her pregnancy more enjoyable. One way to do this is through prenatal massage.
The goal of prenatal massage is the same as a regular massage: to relax tense muscles, improve circulation, and offer relaxation. However, a prenatal massage is specifically designed for the unique changes in a pregnant woman’s body. The most notable change is the change in blood volume. The increased amount of fluid in the body can cause swelling and put extra pressure on the veins and arteries. Pregnancy massage improves circulation by increasing the amount of oxygen and nutrients that reach the body’s cells, which reduces edema and swelling and helps keep the blood moving efficiently throughout the body.
In addition, pregnancy massages also help increase the levels of serotonin and dopamine in the blood, which is good for both mom and baby. This shift in hormones can help relieve stress and decrease epinephrine and cortisol levels, which can cause fatigue.
Another big benefit of pregnancy massage is improving lower back pain and leg cramps. The enlarged abdomen can stress the back, neck, abdominal, and leg muscles. A prenatal massage can help ease the tension in these muscles and improve flexibility, reducing the pain from swollen joints.
Sciatic nerve pain is another common pregnancy-related issue that can be eased with a prenatal massage. This can feel like numbness or tingling in the lower back, bum area, and sometimes down the legs. Prenatal massage can help release the tension in the surrounding muscles, alleviating the numbness and tingling.
The side-lying position used in a prenatal massage is ideal for most women. This is because it reduces the risk of supine hypotension, which can cause dizziness and lightheadedness when the uterus compresses the inferior vena cava. However, a physician should be consulted before a person undergoes this type of massage to ensure it is safe for her.
Pregnancy is a time of great change for the body. It can also be a time of discomfort and pain from the shifting pelvic bones, swollen ankles, or tight muscles. Many women find regular massages can help reduce pain, relieve stress and anxiety, increase sleep quality, and promote relaxation. The specialized massage techniques used in prenatal massage are designed to address these specific issues experienced by pregnant women safely.
Prenatal massage can be beneficial in reducing swelling, as it stimulates soft tissues to reduce fluid accumulation in swollen joints and improves the removal of tissue waste carried by the lymph system. In addition, massage can help alleviate sciatic nerve pain as the uterus puts pressure on the muscles in the lower back and pelvic area.
Research shows that pregnant women who received regular therapeutic massages throughout their pregnancy had fewer complications during birth and a significantly higher rate of healthy newborns. This is partly due to the positive impact on hormone levels, including reducing stress-related hormones and increasing mood-enhancing hormones like serotonin.
A prenatal massage is safe for most women, provided the practitioner has experience working with pregnant clients. They will take extra care to avoid areas of the body that could compress the uterus. Prenatal massage typically involves a woman lying on her side, if possible, after 16 weeks (to prevent the uterus from being compressed against the spine). In some cases, therapists will use a stool or chair to support the woman to remain comfortable in an upright position.
Prenatal massage is not appropriate for women with certain conditions, such as DVT (blood clot in a leg) or placenta previa or accrete. However, it is usually fine for women with gestational diabetes who are in good control of their blood sugars. Women with high blood pressure should consult their doctor about getting a massage. They may need to limit the duration or frequency of the sessions. They should also let their therapists know that they are expecting and discuss what position they feel most comfortable in.
Pregnancy massage is designed to reduce back pain that often comes with weight shift and extra strain on the lower back. It can also alleviate tension in the shoulders, hips, and legs as the body adapts to changing posture.
Studies indicate that pregnancy massage may help to reduce the levels of cortisol, a hormone that can cause stress and depression in expecting mothers. Cortisol can increase the chances of premature birth and low birth weight for newborns. Moreover, elevated cortisol may also contribute to other complications, such as increased agitation, sleep disturbances, and apathy. In a study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology, researchers found that expectant mothers who received regular prenatal massage had fewer episodes of depression, less anxiety, and better mood than those who did not receive treatment. The researchers also noted that pregnant women who received massages responded more positively to the Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment habituation, orientation, and motor scales (an infant’s abilities to interact with the external environment).
In a typical session, expectant mothers remain fully draped, with oil or lotion applied over body regions that are properly uncovered. The massage typically focuses on the neck and shoulder muscles, lower back, and sciatic pain in the hips and thighs. In addition, the deep muscles in the calves can be addressed to reduce swelling from edema.
The massage is generally performed on the side of the body since lying on the stomach can create pressure on the abdomen and restrict blood flow. A few bolsters or pads are used to support the client’s knees, feet, and abdomen as needed. The therapist must have experience working with pregnant clients, as the positioning of the body during massage is critical for the safety and comfort of the mother and baby.
When looking for a qualified therapist, it is wise to seek recommendations from friends and family members who have had children, as well as online directories and forums. Ask therapists to describe their level of training and the types of pregnancy massage they have experience performing. It would be best if you also inquired about the therapist’s safety precautions, such as avoiding certain pressure points that could induce labor.
Pregnancy is a time of many physical changes. Every day, from shifting pelvic bones to swollen ankles, brings a new set of challenges for the expectant mom. While these changes are exciting, they can be very tiring as well. Studies show that women who receive regular massages have better overall moods and are more likely to sleep well. Massage has been shown to improve circulation, reduce swelling, and ease back pain – all common during pregnancy. This can help you get a better night’s sleep, making you feel more rested and ready to take on the day.
Studies also show that prenatal massage regulates hormones related to stress and mood. This can help to alleviate the symptoms of depression and anxiety that are so common during this time. It has also been shown to increase the production of feel-good hormones like serotonin and dopamine, which can contribute to a better overall mood and improved sleep.
It’s important to note that receiving a prenatal massage at any point during the pregnancy is safe if the patient has a doctor’s or midwife’s approval. Some massage therapists may prefer not to treat expectant mothers during the first trimester due to the increased risk of miscarriage. Still, they can work around this issue and provide a comfortable treatment experience. They can use pillows and bolsters to support the pregnant woman and are trained to position the mother safely for her and her baby.
Aside from the benefits mentioned above, it’s worth noting that women who receive regular massages during pregnancy often have shorter labors and less need for pain medication. This is believed to be due to the reduced levels of stress hormones discussed earlier.
It’s recommended to have a massage at least once per week during the second trimester and weekly during the third trimester. This schedule offers the most benefits, including relaxation, pain relief, swelling reduction, and regulating hormones related to stress and mood.