Pregnancy massage is a wonderful therapy to support the physical changes during pregnancy. From conception, the naturally occurring effects of pregnancy on a woman’s body are unbelievable. At times amazing and beautiful. It can also be overwhelming and downright uncomfortable, to say the least! Massage can alleviate a wide variety of what some people call ‘symptoms of pregnancy. Using massage to relieve back pain caused by the increasing pressure is the most common use of massage during pregnancy. However, massage can ensure you are comfortable and happy till the very end when used as a preventative treatment during your pregnancy!
How it works and some great benefits explained:
- Pregnancy massage relaxes the nervous system and releases Oxytocin – the feel-good hormone! This also has a beneficial effect on the baby’s health. Supporting the production of oxytocin can lower stress and anxiety levels in the mum, not just during treatment but with lasting effects post-treatment. Women who receive massage therapy during pregnancy have reported decreased depression and anxiety – with a recent study showing those who received regular massage had higher dopamine and serotonin levels and lower levels of cortisol and norepinephrine (1).
- Can improve sleep quality by increasing the production of Melatonin and Serotonin, which assist in the regulation of sleep and the circadian rhythm, helping you sleep better during your pregnancy.
- Assists in improving blood flow and circulation, which provides better nourishment for the baby and a lowered risk of varicose veins forming in the mother’s lower body. The increase of blood flow via regular massage therapy can further aid in the reduction of high blood pressure and its associated symptoms (2)
- Swelling in feet and hands? Massage promotes the effective flow of the Lymphatic system, therefore, assisting in reducing fluid retention overall.
- Helps support an increased feeling of comfortability by reducing muscle tension, ligament pain and nerve pain.
- Trouble breathing throughout pregnancy? It could be related to muscles around the lungs and thoracic area. Releasing these muscles can help to open your restricted airways more with less tension preventing proper airflow.
- Lower back and hip pain reduction. During pregnancy, the hormone relaxin softens ligaments in this area in preparation for childbirth, leading to an increased strain on the back and hips for 50% of women. Pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain is a pain in the pelvic area that may develop during pregnancy in combination with lower back and hip pain. Massage has been found to help release the muscle tightness and assist in pain relief for all of these pregnancy-related pain concerns as a form of management (3)
Is Pregnancy Massage Safe?
Yes! A qualified massage therapist with additional training in pregnancy massage is your best choice for this treatment due to the extra care and knowledge required to treat pregnant women safely. If there are any complications in your pregnancy, it is best to seek medical advice and clearance before your treatment to ensure that you have the best support and guidance. Our Remedial Massage Therapists Kelly Zeller and Fiona Woodhouse have undergone further training with Pregnancy Massage Australia ensuring they have the most up to date knowledge and training to safely perform pregnancy massage.
When can I start receiving Pregnancy Massage?
As soon as you feel comfortable, as early as 4-6 weeks and as late as 42 weeks, pregnancy massage is safe and effective through all stages of your pregnancy, even with incredible benefits going into and throughout labour! Pregnancy massage can safely continue throughout the first, second and third trimester – only ceasing or pausing if there are contradictory health problems. It is an incredible complementary therapy to assist you throughout your pregnancy journey in decreasing those uncomfortable symptoms and helping you enjoy every moment of your pregnancy.