Massage therapy during pregnancy is a wonderful complementary choice for prenatal care. It is a healthy way to reduce stress and promote overall wellness. Massage relieves many of the normal discomforts experienced during pregnancy, such as backaches, stiff neck, leg cramps, headaches and edema (or swelling).
In addition, massage for pregnant women reduces stress on weight-bearing joints, encourages blood and lymph circulation, helps to relax nervous tension — which aids in better sleep — and can help relieve depression or anxiety caused by hormonal changes.
The Benefits to Baby of Prenatal Massage
A mother’s body reacts to physical and mental stimulation. There is an emotional and chemical connection between a mother and her developing baby. Everyone’s body and connective tissue
Contains stores cellular memories of past experiences. Those memories can affect the fetus inside the womb. These cellular memories are the inherited thoughts, attitudes and feelings that our parents had before we were ever born. Because these memories are energetic, and cellular, they can be addressed within the womb, and healed or magnified before birth.
Additionally, normal pregnancy is often a time of much emotion and anxiety, as well as happiness and excitement. A mother’s pregnancy hormones fluctuate and change throughout pregnancy. These hormones have an impact on how she feels and perceives her world each day. When an expecting mother receives regular physical support, emotional reassurance that everything is going normally and well, relaxation and the nurturing touch of massage during pregnancy, there will be a positive far-reaching impact on herself and her baby.
Massage therefore, will:
Massage eases the load on her heart to help keep her blood pressure in check, as well as minimizing stress on her nervous system, including the sciatic nerve.
Massage stimulates glandular secretions, which helps stabilize hormone levels.
Massage can help relieve depression or anxiety caused by hormonal changes experienced through pregnancy.
Massage allows the receiver to learn relaxation skills, which are valuable in labor.
Massage provides a nurturing, soothing touch, which promotes the release of emotional and physical tension.
Massage helps a mother sleep more deeply.
Massage helps to prepare the body for delivery by loosening the pelvis and ridding the body of excess tension prior to the onset of labor.
A relaxed mother will have a better chance to carry her baby to term, and generally have a happier, healthier pregnancy.