People often think about massage as a luxurious, pampering experience. While massages certainly feel great, they are highly therapeutic as well. One of the best times to get a massage is while you are pregnant. Prenatal massages are incredibly beneficial, and you owe it to yourself and your body to make regular prenatal massages a part of your pregnancy. Here are four benefits you will enjoy when you get a massage while you’re pregnant.
1. Hormone Regulation
As any woman who has been through pregnancy before will tell you, the hormonal swings that women experience when they are pregnant are no trifling manner. Studies have shown that massage is highly beneficial for the regulation of hormones in pregnant women. Prenatal massage lowers stress hormones like cortisol and norepinephrine. In addition, feel-good hormones like dopamine and serotonin are increased. As well as making pregnancy a much more enjoyable experience, hormone regulation through prenatal massage also leads to a lower risk of birth defects.
2. Treating the Aches and Pains of Pregnancy
When you are 32 weeks into your pregnancy and experience the utter bliss of having your ankles rubbed, you will understand the true magic of prenatal massage therapy. Pregnancy is really tough on the lower half of the body. Getting a massage to reduce the aches they suffer from carrying around their bundles of joy 24 hours a day is a must for mothers-to-be. The legs, ankles and feet bear the brunt of gravity’s added power on the body during pregnancy, and a massage is just the thing to make those aches and pains melt away. In addition, back pain from an aggravated sciatic nerve is another common pregnancy complication that can be treated with massage therapy.
3. Reducing Swelling
Because the body is carrying a load that is excessive during pregnancy, joint swelling is a common occurrence. As any woman near the end of her third trimester will tell you, the ankle swelling alone is enough to drive you crazy when you are pregnant. When you feel like an overinflated tire due to swelling due to pregnancy, massage therapy is just the thing you need. One of massage therapy’s greatest attributes is that it encourages the soft tissues to collect fluid, which reduces swelling in the joints. “Massage also helps to activate the lymphatic system, which helps to remove the tissue waste that also causes swelling during pregnancy,” said Zerenity Massage Wellness.
4. Getting a Great Night’s Sleep
One of the sad truths about pregnancy is that sleep is often an elusive thing for expectant mothers. Women lose enough sleep after they give birth. There is no need to let sleep deprivation begin before the baby is even born. Massage therapy is an excellent tool for eliminating insomnia in expectant mothers. Weekly prenatal massages will ensure that pregnant women give birth with sleep bank accounts that are in good standing. That will make those late-night feedings much more manageable during those first six months after their babies are born.
Pregnancy is a time when the body is under tremendous stress. Expectant mothers need to use every possible resource to improve the health of their bodies and the health of their unborn children. Massage should not be a luxury during pregnancy. The benefits of massage therapy for the health of women who are pregnant and the health of their unborn children is undeniable. Women who do decide to get massage while they are pregnant should always discuss it with their doctor first. It is best that mothers-to-be seek out massage therapists who specialize in prenatal massage for safety and to ensure the best results are achieved with the treatment.