Pregnancy Massage can be a great addition to expectant Mothers’ pre-natal care regiment. As the baby grows and develops, the pregnant mother’s body
also changes. There are some typical discomforts and challenges that are associated with pregnancy:
Stress, anxiety, depression
back, pelvic, leg/hip pain
fatigue and sleep issues
sinus and respiratory difficulties
Massage therapy can significantly help with many of these discomforts. Massage helps moms feel more relaxed by easing the aches and pains of sore muscles and feet. It promotes peristalsis (digestion) and can reduce symptoms of edema. Massage therapy also reduces the stress hormone cortisol and boosts serotonin. This relieves stress, promotes a sense of well-being, and aids in sleep. Reducing stress is especially important during pregnancy because these hormones crosses the placenta to the baby. When mom is stressed, the baby is stressed, and when mom is relaxed, baby is relaxed.
Effects of Prolonged Stress of Pregnancy
Stress during pregnancy can lead to negative effects for both the mother and baby. Some of these effects on include:
increased heart rate and blood pressure (including pre-eclampsia)
immune system dysfunction (more likely to get sick)
prolonged labor with more complications
interference with fetal brain and CNS development.
How Massage Can Help
Massage therapy counteracts stressful impacts on the mother and baby. Massage invokes the parasympathetic response in the autonomic nervous system. It can change the fight, flight, fright (stress) response to the nurture, relax, vegetate, and digest response. Specifically, massage has been shown to:
lower blood pressure
lower stress hormones
decrease heart rate
increase peristalsis (digestion)
increase oxygen flow to the fetus
aid in sleep
Pregnancy Massage at West Hills
It is my goal to help educate mothers on how massage therapy can positively impact their pregnancy. At West Hills Massage, a specialized sideline body positioning pillow system is used to ensure a safe and comfortable massage experience. I often get asked by my clients if I can bring my pillows to tuck them in at night because they are so comfortable! I have also completed a special pregnancy massage certification to increase my skills and knowledge in helping expectant mothers. No matter where you decide to get a massage, just make sure that your therapist has the experience and education to provide the best and safest massage experience possible. As always, please reach out to me with questions, I am happy to help!