How Prenatal Massage is Good for Mama and Baby

I’m sure you’ve heard how important it is to stay relaxed during pregnancy. The truth is – easier said than done!

You’re wondering about every prenatal test. You’re watching out for every milestone. You’re making financial plans for maternity leave. It’s no wonder you can’t prioritize something as frivolous as prenatal massage.

But massage isn’t frivolous.

It’s important for both you and baby. Here’s why this form of physical relaxation is so worth it.

LESS STRESS HORMONES

Your hormones are already fluctuating dramatically during pregnancy. Add stress to the mix, which adds stress hormones, and it’s no wonder many women struggle during much of their pregnancy.

According to AmericanPregnancy.org, prenatal massage “leads to mood regulation and improved cardiovascular health.” Massage basically lowers your stress hormones and increases your feel-good hormones.

The benefits aren’t just for you, either!

“These changes in hormone levels also led to fewer complications during birth and fewer instances of newborn complications, such as low birth weight.” // AmericanPregnancy.org

LESS SWELLING

Massage moves that fluid collecting in your swollen joints and gets your lymphatic system going. This means better circulation, less swelling, and more efficient removal of waste by your lymph system.

BONUS: The Institute for Integrative HealthCare says:

“Massage also helps to improve blood and lymph circulation bringing oxygen and nutrients, resulting in better nourishment and greater viability to the unborn child. If the mother is stressed, or experiences some sort of trauma, the unborn child has been shown to respond and react to the increase in cortisol (a stress hormone), the muscle tension and the emotional anxiety. The baby’s heart rate can double when the mother is frightened or upset. If this stress goes unresolved, or lasts an extended period of time, both the mother and child may experience long-lasting symptoms.” // IntegrativeHealthcare.org

LESS NERVE PAIN

Tension and the weight of your growing uterus put pressure on your muscles, which then swell and put pressure on your nerves. Hence, nerve pain. The nerves get inflamed from the pressure and – OUCH!

Prenatal massage releases the muscle tension so they stop pushing so hard on your nerves. The result? Relief. The reduced tension can also help ease headaches.

Massage can also reduce stress, anxiety, and back pain while helping you sleep better!

As always, check with your care provider before embarking on your prenatal massage journey, and make sure you find a massage therapist certified in prenatal massage.

Enjoy, Momma!

 

Sources:
www.americanpregnancy.org
www.integrativehealthcare.org

Featured image source: www.thefirmessentials.com

Reese

Reese Leyva is a first-time mom whose countless hours of reading about and researching pregnancy, birth, and gentle/respectful parenting have led her to one inevitable conclusion - moms and babies are amazing! When she's not writing or studying to complete her certification as a Childbirth Educator, she's playing in the dirt with her super cool infant daughter or cooking alongside her nifty artist husband.


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