Every pregnancy is a special experience. It is the most rewarding experience women are lucky to have. So whether it is your first pregnancy or not, know that you have begun the journey to one of the most beautiful experiences that life offers – the birth of a newborn.
As amazing as pregnancy is, I am sure you know it is marked with several levels of physical and hormonal changes, which can cause some level of discomfort. As a result, you should pay attention to your nutrition, health and the development of your baby. A well-administered antenatal care should take care of all these needs, but you can make your pregnancy experience even better with a massage therapy.
Surprised? Massage is a luxury you can enjoy anytime, including during pregnancy. A massage is a relaxing and rejuvenating therapy, which helps us ease stress, pain and boosts our mood. In pregnancy, massage help make pregnancy easier for mothers. Also, it improves the well-being of their babies and to help mothers recover fast.
Yes, any hands-on massage during or after pregnancy (prenatal or postnatal) is a pregnancy massage. It lasts for an hour and professionals do it on a pregnancy massage table – a table designed to accommodate your belly. Also, specially designed pillows called Bolsters are used in the absence of a pregnancy massage table.
Pregnancy massage can during pregnancy and after delivery. If administered effectively, pregnancy massage offers a lot of benefits to make the pregnancy experience easier and worthwhile.
Prenatal and postnatal benefits of pregnancy massage:
There are so many benefits you stand to enjoy with the incorporation of pregnancy massage into your prenatal and postnatal care. Yes! You stand the chance of enjoying improved emotional and physical health, which results in improved pregnancy outcome for you, including the joy of having a safe delivery and holding your healthy baby in your arms like a proud mother.
Prenatal benefits :
When incorporated into prenatal care, pregnancy massage can help you enjoy a hitch-free pregnancy. It offers a reduced level of stress and strain associated with pregnancy. So why pregnancy massage?
• It relieves nausea and heartburn.
• Pregnancy massage decreases headaches, back, and leg pain.
• It relieves muscle aches, joint pains and even sciatic pains (experienced during the final phase of pregnancy).
• It lowers anxiety.
• Pregnancy massage reduces swelling (edema) or swelling of the joints, by stimulating the reduction of fluid collection by soft tissues.
• It helps improve sleep because of its relaxing effect.
• It decreases the levels of the stress hormone (norepinephrine and cortisol) that the boy produces.
• It increases the levels of the “feel-good” hormones (serotonin and dopamine) produced by your body. Thus, it can improve your mood throughout your period of pregnancy.
• Pregnancy massage reduces newborn complications such as low birth weight. This is possible because of the positive changes in hormonal levels associated with prenatal pregnancy massage.
• It decreases symptoms of depression associated with pregnancy.
• It boosts the immune system’s ability to fight off diseases which may invade the body during pregnancy.
• Improves the progression of labor and lowers the risk of complications and interventions during labor and birth.
• Pregnancy massage improves the baby’s health and well-being.
• It builds a feeling of connectedness and rapport with another person, especially for when you feel “touch deprived”.
With prenatal pregnancy massage, you will enjoy a relaxed pregnancy, with improved health for you and your baby, with little or no complications.
Postnatal massage is a one-hour full body massage you can get for up to forty (40) days after delivery. This therapy is a safe path to a quick and full recovery from child birth and Pregnancy.
After a safe vaginal birth or cesarean section, you will need all the support you need to recover physically, mentally and emotionally from the process of child birth which you bravely went through. What postnatal massage does is to prepare you physically and emotionally to take care of your baby.
Postnatal massage is beneficial because it:
• Decreases muscular tension, ache or pain.
• Decreases fluid retention (edema), which is associated with pregnancy.
• Improves balance in hormonal levels. As you move from pregnancy to lactation, the body’s production of hormones changes. Postnatal massage helps to make this transition faster, as it increases the production of oxytocin.
• Reduces stress and provides you with a relaxing time for the much needed physical and emotional self-care you deserve after delivery.
• Relieves birth and breastfeeding pains.
• Decreases Postpartum swelling by increasing the elimination of excess fluids that may have collected in different parts of the body.
• Eases sore spots.
• Increases the flow of blood and oxygen to muscles. In addition, it helps rid the body of toxins which can harm your body.
• Aids body relaxation and stimulates the body to release endorphins – natural painkillers and feel-good hormones secreted by the brain.
• Speeds up recovery after birth. This includes a quick recovery after a cesarean section by increasing blood supply. It is especially helpful with internal healing.
• Serves as a mood elevator.
• Reduces the risk of postnatal depression which is very common.
• Opens blocked ducts in the beast, loosens clumps and reduces the risk of mastitis.
• Improves general well being and immunity by stimulating lymph flow.
Interestingly, a lot of studies and research has proven that the benefits of massage during and after pregnancy help mothers and their babies enjoy a safe delivery.
It is however very important to consult your antenatal care provider on your decision to include pregnancy massage in your prenatal and postnatal care. This is an important step as it will help you get the right type of pregnancy massage you need.
Finally, when you begin your pregnancy massage, feel free to communicate any discomforts or concerns to the therapist. This openness will help you make the most of your pregnancy massage sessions. Plus, moderation is key, do not overdo it. Do enjoy a hitch free pregnancy and delivery.