Massages and Pregnancy

Therapeutic massage has been used for centuries to reduce stress, muscle tension, both of which lead to the improvement of overall health. Indeed, prenatal massage therapy can be a very instrumental ingredient in a woman’s prenatal care. It can reduce anxiety, depression, muscle and joint pains, while also improving labor outcomes.

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Regulation of Hormones

Hormone levels associated with relaxation significantly increase during a prenatal massage, leading to elevated mood and improving cardiovascular health. In women who received massages twice a week, for only five weeks, stress hormones norepinephrine and cortisol went down, along with depression hormones dopamine and serotonin. These hormonal changes also led to healthier childbirth, with fewer instances of newborn complications. Indeed, health care professionals recommend the incorporation of regular prenatal care for healthy mothers.

Reduction of Swelling

The swelling of the joints during pregnancy, also called edema, happens because of reduced circulation, along with increased pressure on major blood vessels brought about by a heavy uterus. Massage also helps stimulate the soft tissues responsible for reducing the collection of fluids in pregnancy-related joint swelling and pains. It also improves the hygienic removal of tissue waster via the body’s lymph system.

Improvement of Nerve Pain

It’s normal for pregnant women to experience sciatic nerve pain, which is caused by the pregnant woman’s uterus resting on the muscles of the lower back and the pelvic floor. To explain, such normal phenomenon causes this tension in the uterus to spread to the muscles of the upper and lower leg, with the swell putting pressure on nearby nerves. Massage addresses the problem in that it releases the tension on nearby muscles and nerves.

Consideration to Sensitive Pressure Points

For safety and security, trained prenatal massage therapists should be aware of the pressure points on the ankles and wrists that can stimulate pelvic muscles and the uterus. Don’t worry, as these certified therapists are trained to avoid specific pressure to these areas. In the same way, the pregnant women will receive a reminder to alert the professional immediately upon experiencing pre-term contractions so that the situation is handled safely and immediately.

Indeed, a special massage therapy package can improve overall prenatal health for the pregnant woman. It can be incorporated into routine prenatal care, both as a physical and emotional supplement proven to improve pregnancy outcome. Consult with your health care professional.


About Ted Toohey 49 Articles
Ted Toohey is a neurosurgeon in a hospital in New Jersey. He's also a columnist in different medical journals in the state.