Pregnancy might be one of the most awaited moments for any woman. It might be as exciting as opening a gift coming from a loved one or as frightening as losing one’s precious gift. With the joy that is coming, there’s also stress coming to a mother’s way as she ventures phases of pregnancy. A few would only be aware of how to reduce stress through undergoing some techniques. These techniques were identified by Sleepadvisor to aid in reducing stress, especially when it comes to safe sleeping —yoga and stretching, deep breathing, massage, exercises, and progressive muscle relaxation are a few they mentioned.
Therapeutic massage, being a widely known practice to relieve stress, has surprising benefits to expecting moms, too, as it can result in improved overall health. Such massages like Swedish Massage aim to ease muscle pain and improve blood circulation by putting mild pressure on areas where muscle tension grows. Deep-tissue and Shiatsu are a few of those safe massages for pregnant women.
Stress Hormones Reduction
Plenty of studies show impressive results of massage inculcated during pregnancy. Hormones producing stress (norepinephrine and cortisol) were reduced, whereas hormones activating happy feelings (dopamine and serotonin) were increased. According to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, massage therapy has been effective during pregnancy.
Moreover, the study also mentioned that depressed women who are given massage therapy showed fewer prenatal complications, including a 75% lower prematurity rate and an 80% lower incidence of low birth weight. Substantial evidence like this is proof that an expecting mom can try to enjoy a therapeutic massage.
Improved Blood Circulation
Blood flow in a pregnant woman is extremely different from a non-impregnated person. The blood has more tasks such as filtering through, sending nutrients to the placenta, and removing any waste from it. In connection with such a volume of tasks, blood pressure may decrease during the first period and an increase in the second one.
That’s why massage aids in improving circulation in the blood flow during pregnancy. Massage techniques facilitate circulation due to the pressure placed in such body areas. That helps you keep your lymphatic system working efficiently and flush out all possible toxins in your body.
Reduction in Swelling
Swelling or edema occurs during pregnancy when extra body fluid is trapped in the ankles and feet due to the growing uterus. With this, circulation is reduced, and pressure is much more increased on the major blood vessels. As many benefits as improved blood circulation, massage hits points of soft tissues wherein the collection of fluids in swollen joints are reduced. A study done by Turkish researchers showed that foot massage decreased the normal swelling on the lower leg in late pregnancy.
Reduced Back Pain
Back pain or a simple discomfort can be experienced as early as the first trimester. That is very common during the pregnancy and may disrupt everyday daily routines or your good night’s sleep. Most common back pains start with the lower back due to increased hormones, additional weight, bad posture or position, or stress.
Getting a massage can help you ease and surpass this phase of pregnancy. As massage aids and aims to relax tensioned muscles, it will surely help you alleviate those pain and keep you away from the stress.
The Practice of Safe Prenatal Massage
Pregnant women might ask, is it safe to have a massage during pregnancy? The answer is, it depends on your phase as a pregnant woman. Some don’t allow women in their first trimester since that is the crucial stage of pregnancy wherein miscarriage may occur. After the first trimester, there is nothing to worry about getting a prenatal massage. Studies have proved the sound effects in pregnant women and newborn children.
How do we practice safe prenatal massage? The most important thing to consider is to consult your doctor first before getting any massage. Next is to seek a professional massage therapist. You must seek a certified massage therapist, for they have been trained and certified in this field. They are the ones who are very much aware of how to perform specific massage procedures, especially on pregnant women. Always consider that your situation is delicate and requires a professional to do particular procedures for you, regardless if it is an internal or external part of your body.
Prenatal massage is considered to be part of prenatal care in our modern times. It’s a form of ‘me-time’ wherein it would be necessary, especially to expecting moms. Prenatal massage will benefit you physically, physiologically, and emotionally as you prepare for motherhood.