Massage during pregnancy. Since ancient times, therapeutic massage has been used to ease tension in the muscles, lower stress levels, and enhance general health. Prenatal massage therapy has been found to increase the quality of labor and the health of the newborn, as well as lessen anxiety and depressive symptoms. Swedish Massage is one of the several prenatal massage techniques that meets various demands.
Swedish massage uses light pressure on the body’s muscular groups to reduce muscle tension and enhance lymphatic and blood circulation. The most frequently experienced discomforts related to the skeletal and circulatory alterations brought on by hormonal changes are addressed by the Swedish massage technique, which is the one that is advised for use during pregnancy.
Perineal massage, which refers to the practice of manually stretching the tissues around the birth canal to help lower the risk of episiotomy or trauma related to birthing, should be distinguished from therapeutic prenatal massage.
Recent research has revealed that adding massage treatment to a woman’s prenatal care regimen drastically changes the hormone levels linked to stress and relaxation. This results in better cardiovascular health and mood regulation.
Only five weeks of biweekly massage therapy for women resulted in a reduction in stress chemicals like cortisol and norepinephrine and an increase in the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin (low levels of these hormones are associated with depression).
Reduced birth problems and occurrences of neonatal issues including low birth weight were also caused by these changes in hormone levels. The data is compelling that including therapeutic massage in routine prenatal treatment has positive effects on the health of both the mother and the unborn child.
decrease in edema
Pregnancy-related edema, or swelling of the joints, is frequently brought on by poor blood flow and increased strain on the major blood vessels from the uterus’s weight. Massage encourages soft tissues, which helps to stop fluid from building up in swollen joints. Additionally, this enhances the lymphatic system’s ability to remove waste from tissues.
reduction of nerve pain
As the uterus sits on the muscles of the pelvic floor and lower back in late pregnancy, many women report suffering from sciatic nerve discomfort. The upper and lower leg muscles become tense due to the uterine strain, which also causes them to expand and put pressure on adjacent nerves.
By assisting in the relaxation of adjacent muscles, massage treatment helps to treat the irritated nerves. Massage has helped a lot of pregnant ladies significantly lessen their sciatic nerve pain.
Additional advantages of prenatal massage include:
less back pain
diminished joint discomfort
reduced headaches and tension headaches
less anxiety and stress
improved oxygenation of muscles and soft tissues
Risks associated with prenatal massage?
Women should talk to their prenatal care physician about massage, as they should with any therapeutic approach to pregnancy wellness. Working with experienced experts and staying informed are the best ways to address the hazards of prenatal massage.
Many experts believe that side-lying is the best position for a pregnant lady to be in during a massage. The uterus may not be able to fit into tables that have a hole for it, and as a result, pressure may still be applied to the abdomen or the abdomen may hang down, unpleasant stressing the uterine ligaments. Before your first session, ask your massage therapist to confirm the position they have their clients in while they receive the massage.
Find a qualified massage therapist.
It’s crucial to get treatment from a licensed prenatal massage therapist. Beyond the minimum requirements set by the government, certified therapists have received additional training, and they are familiar with the unique massage and pregnant needs of their clients.
They know just how to place you to minimize risk to the uterine ligaments. They can also keep an eye out for varicose veins and blood clot signs.
Prior to getting a massage, women who have recently bled, are having pre-term contractions, or have any of the following conditions should consult with a doctor:
Hypertension caused during pregnancy (PIH)
prior preterm birth
Having abrupt, severe headaches, elevated blood pressure, or significant edema
recently had a baby
Is prenatal massage secure for the duration of pregnancy?
Whether in the first, second, or third trimester, women can start receiving massage treatment at any time during their pregnancy. Due to the heightened risk of miscarriage associated with the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, many facilities won’t give massage to a woman who is still in her first trimester.
Prenatal care that includes prenatal massage
For many pregnant women, massage’s advantages can enhance their overall prenatal health. Massage therapy can be incorporated into regular prenatal care as an emotional and physical health complement that has been found to improve pregnancy outcomes and maternal health, together with the direction and counsel of a prenatal care practitioner. Before starting any new therapeutic practice, speak with your midwife or obstetrician.