Monday, February 25, 2013

Pregnancy Massage - The Benefits of Massage During Pregnancy

Pregnancy Massage and the Benefits of Pregnancy Massage

The great physical, mental and emotional changes of pregnancy affect your lifestyle, your job and your relationships with friends and family. Pregnancy massage helps you integrate these changes successfully. Massage during pregnancy offers undeniable physical benefits. Massage is healthy and helpful to expectant mothers and pregnancy massage therapy is used to improve overall health, decrease stress and relieve muscle aches and pains. It addresses the many discomforts associated with the skeletal, muscular and circulation changes brought on by hormone shifts during pregnancy.

Massage alleviates low back, hip and leg pain, oedema, nausea, heartburn and constipation. Regular massage decreases anxiety and lowers stress hormones during pregnancy. Labour is shorter and easier while babies are healthier. There are fewer obstetric and postnatal complications, such as premature birth and low birth weight. Massage is good for you and your baby's health. Mothers massaged during pregnancy bond better with their babies.

Massage relaxes you which eases the discomforts of pregnancy. Massage makes you feel great and this boosts your self-confidence and happiness. Pregnancy massage strengthens your immune system, reduces the negative effects of stress, improves the quality of sleep and gives you more energy.

In addition to calming the nervous system and relaxing tight muscles, circulation is increased by massage so nutrients and oxygen essential for health and energy are transported to the organs and tissues while metabolic waste that make you feel fatigued or nauseous during pregnancy is removed.

Massage during pregnancy makes the lymph system function more efficiently which boosts the immune system and removes excess toxins. Massage also helps stabilize hormone levels and mood swings. Expectant mothers can find relief from the depression and anxiety caused by hormonal changes during pregnancy.

Benefits of Pregnancy Massage

Massage therapy is a wonderful, complimentary choice for prenatal care and a healthy way to promote general well-being and reduce stress. Pregnancy massage is an important addition to prenatal health care and is not a luxury. Massage helps to relieve pregnancy's normal discomforts, such as oedema, joint pain, headaches, backache, leg cramps and stiff neck. It can also give you a better night's sleep as it relaxes and soothes the nervous system. Below are examples of how massage can benefit you throughout your pregnancy:

Massage in the First Trimester

  • Relieves muscular tension and headaches

  • Helps balance emotional and hormonal changes

  • Helps alleviate morning sickness

  • Improves circulation and oxygenation of soft tissues and muscles as well as removal of metabolic waste

  • Reduces fatigue

  • Reduces strain on the joints

  • Induces relaxation, reduces stress and creates a supportive, caring environment

Massage in the Second Trimester

  • Eases heartburn and constipation since overall relaxation stimulates and balances digestion and elimination

  • Alleviates muscle cramping, pain and joint dysfunction in the back, hips and shoulders

  • Alleviates sciatica

  • Relieves leg cramps

  • Assists postural alignment to relieve pain from uterine ligament strain

  • Helps to lengthen the spine and create more space for the baby

  • Helps maintain blood flow through the pelvic area which reduces blood and fluid congestion in the legs

  • Improves skin elasticity, reducing stretch marks

Massage in the Third Trimester

  • Reduces swelling/oedema

  • Continuous assessment for early detection of preeclampsia and deep vein thrombosis

  • Relief from restriction in the groin can increase blood and lymph return from the legs

  • Relieves pain from varicosities

  • Enhances sleep

  • Relaxes and calms your baby

  • Prepares pelvic muscles for the birth process by relaxing them

  • Relaxation brought by frequent massage reduces the build up of discomfort, impatience and anxiety in the last weeks of pregnancy

  • Helps in inducing labour in post-term pregnancies or in inducing early labour in high risk pregnancies such as large babies in diabetic mothers

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