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Prenatal Massage: Helpful for Moms and Babies

Granted, the evolution of a woman’s body during pregnancy is miraculous and beautiful, but, it is also physically stressful. During pregnancy, a woman’s weight shifts and increases, her blood volume rises, and the pressure on her back and joints intensifies. Couple these physical strains with the surge in hormones coursing through a woman’s body, and it is clear that massage therapy is a worthy (many would argue necessary) part of a healthy prenatal regime.

Prenatal massage therapy has dual benefits. First, a massage therapist provides the mother-to-be with important emotional support and nurturing, healing touches that comforts the mother-to-be, helps her sleep more soundly, and decreases the flow of stress related hormones to the baby. A prenatal massage therapist promotes feelings of respect, connection and interdependence in her client that can lead to a more nurturing relationship between mother and her baby. Second, a prenatal massage can decrease the strain on a woman’s joints, reduce swelling of feet, and enable her to move with greater comfort and ease. Prenatal massage also focuses on stimulating blood flow for both the mother-to-be and the baby. Many doctors have concluded that a relaxed mother is more likely to enjoy a healthier pregnancy and easier delivery experience.

Pregnant women should not schedule prenatal massages during the first semester of her pregnancy. Additionally, mothers-to-be should consult with her obstetrician or healthcare provider before seeking massage therapy. The practice of prenatal massage therapy takes special note of a client’s ever-changing body, and adjusts techniques, positioning, and intensity according to the woman’s preference, stage of pregnancy, and emotional need. A prenatal massage is recommended once a week during a woman’s second trimester and twice a week during her third trimester. Not only does this type of massage comfort and relax, it also prepares the body for recovering from pregnancy, weight gain and childbirth. It is a truly significant experience for massage therapists who enjoy being a part of this amazing time in a woman’s life.

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