Why Every Pregnant Orange County Woman Should Consider Prenatal Massage Therapy
For many centuries, massages have been used to reduce stress and promote overall well-being. Research has also pointed out that prenatal massage therapy can help in dealing with several pregnancy-related issues such as back and joint pain, water retention in joints (oedema), stress and so on. Let us discuss prenatal massages in more detail.
Are Prenatal Massages Safe?
Yes, it is very common for pregnant women to undergo prenatal massages and they are totally safe but only when administered by certified massage therapists. We only employ certified and highly experienced therapists. Still, it is recommended that you consult your prenatal care provider on whether such type of therapy is suitable for you.
What specific type of massaging technique is suitable for pregnant women?
Swedish massages are suitable during pregnancy since they involve light pressure and aid in muscle relaxation and improved blood circulation. This technique makes use of long strokes in the same direction as that of blood flowing to the heart. Sometimes, the massage therapist may utilize reflexology and other techniques too.
Which position is best for administering a prenatal massage?
There are several theories – Some spas use specially designed tables that have a hole to accommodate the swollen belly. However, such tables can exert pressure on the midsection. Also, not all women have the same sized belly. Medical professionals are of the opinion that the safest and most effective position for prenatal massages is with the woman lying on her side. During the second tri-semester, the massage is usually administered with the woman lying on her back – a small, soft cushion may be placed under the lower back for extra comfort.
What are the benefits of a prenatal massage?
- Pregnancy triggers a series of hormonal changes, which often cause anxiety and depression. Prenatal massages can help in dealing with such problems since they aid in relaxation, relieve nervous tension and improve quality of sleep. A study about the effects of prenatal massage revealed that when women received massages twice a week for five weeks, their cortisol and norepinephrine levels decreased significantly (both are stress hormones). Not only this, but the women also registered increased levels of dopamine and serotonin, both of these are happiness hormones – they improve mood and help in combating depression.
- When the uterus increases in size, it can exert pressure on major blood vessels. This results in poor blood circulation and causes swelling in the joints (most commonly in the feet). This condition is known as oedema. Prenatal massages gently stimulate the muscles – this improves circulation to the area and eliminates the swelling.
- Many women experience sciatic pain during pregnancy, especially during the final stages when the uterus becomes quite large and causes tension in the muscles of the upper and lower leg. These muscles become swollen and put pressure on the sciatic nerve. Prenatal massages help ease muscle tension and reduce inflammation. As a result, the muscles stop compressing the sciatic nerve – this helps to manage the pain.
- Massaging the shoulder, head and neck areas can help in relieving headaches and migraines, both of which are quite common during pregnancy. Massage causes the body to release serotonin, which is a pain relieving hormone.
When administered properly, prenatal massages are highly effective and prepare the muscles for labor and delivery. They also contribute to better health of the newborn baby.
Other Types of Prenatal Massages We Offer:
As a father of 3 amazing kids (and soon to be 4) I understand the importance of this more than many people!
- This type of massage is given for inducing labor in a natural and safe manner.
- An induction massage is usually administered just before, on or after your due date. At some spas, the procedure is carried out after the 37th week.
- This type of massage therapy is a great alternative to medical induction – in case you do don’t go into spontaneous labor.
- An induction massage is basically a relaxing massage combined with acupressure to specific parts of the body. It increases levels of oxytocin (happiness hormone that facilitates bonding between mother and child). It can help the cervix to dilate and also facilitates contractions of the uterus. It helps in relaxing the pelvis and the sacrum – this allows the baby to be born easily.
- While there is no absolute guarantee that an induction massage will work for everybody, there is a high success rate. Sometimes, repeated sessions are required for the procedure to take effect.
- A single session usually lasts for an hour. After an induction massage, most women experience pre-labor sensations such as a mild downward movement, urge to urinate, cramping and abdominal tightening.
- A woman’s body and mind are totally exhausted after giving birth. Postpartum massages help in rejuvenation the body and emotionally adjusting to motherhood. Other important benefits include hormonal regulation, pain relief, better breastfeeding, reduction in swelling, alleviation of stress etc.
- A postpartum massage is a full body massage and it can be given as soon as the mother is comfortable. The intensity of the massage depends on the preferences of the recipient. Some women prefer light touches while others crave deep tissue relaxation. The position in which the massage is given also depends upon the recipient. Many women prefer lying on their stomach because they cannot lie in this position for several months during pregnancy. In many cultures, postpartum massages are given every day after birth for a period of 40 days.
- Massage facilitates release of the hormone oxytocin which aids in bonding between mother and child. It also triggers increased milk production in the mammary glands. Since massages aid in hormonal regulation, they also help to combat postpartum depression.
- Postpartum massage therapy increases blood flow and eliminates swelling by facilitating lymphatic drainage.
- Massages relax the muscles and alleviate fatigue. They are very effective for pain management. This helps the mother to sleep better. This is especially essential post pregnancy since the mother needs to wake up frequently to feed and look after the baby.
Pregnancy doesn’t have to be painful and depressing. Contact us now to book a soothing prenatal massage!