Therapeutic massage has been used for centuries to improve overall health, reduce stress, and relieve muscle tension. Modern investigation and research is proving that prenatal massage therapy can be a very instrumental ingredient in a woman’s prenatal care and should be given careful consideration.
The benefits of prenatal massage or massage during pregnancy:
Studies indicate that massage therapy performed during pregnancy can:
- Reduce anxiety,
- Decrease symptoms of depression
- Relieve muscle aches and joint pains
- Improved circulation
- Improve labor outcomes and newborn health.
- Better sleep!
Studies done in the past 10 years have shown that hormone levels associated with relaxation and stress are significantly altered with weekly pregnancy massage, in particular in the last trimester. This can regulate your mood and improve heart health. These changes in hormone levels also led to fewer complications during birth. The evidence points strongly to maternal and newborn health benefits when relaxing, therapeutic massage is incorporated into regular prenatal care.
Reduction of swelling
Oedema, or swelling of the joints during pregnancy, is often caused by reduced circulation and increased pressure on by the heavy uterus. Massage helps to stimulate soft tissues to reduce collection of fluids in swollen joints.
Improvement of nerve pain
Sciatic nerve pain can be experienced in late pregnancy as the uterus rests on muscles of the pelvic floor and lower back. The pressure of the growing uterus spreads tension to the muscles of the upper and lower leg, causing them to swell and put pressure on nearby nerves. Massage therapy addresses the inflamed nerves by helping to release the tension on nearby muscles. Many women have experienced significant reduction in sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy through regular massage
HIP PAIN DURING PREGNANCY…
Causes of pregnancy related hip pain:
During pregnancy, the body releases hormones that help relax and soften the joints and muscles. This occurs to help prepare your body for labour and delivery. Typically the release of hormones into the body however doesn’t affect most women until they are further along in their pregnancy. Pain can worsen after a long work day, over exertion and can be very common while sleeping. This is all due to the pressure being put on the naturally softened pelvic and hip joints.
Pregnancy massage and ultra sound for inflamed joints will help to relieve this pain.
Body position during prenatal massage
Many professionals consider the best position for a pregnant woman during massage is side-lying. Tables that provide a hole in which the uterus can fit may not be reliable and can still apply pressure to the abdomen causing discomfort.
Women with the following conditions should speak with a health care provider prior to receiving a massage:
- High risk pregnancy
- Pre-eclampsia (High blood pressure, water retention and protein in the urine)
- Previous pre-term labour
- Experiencing severe swelling, high blood pressure, or sudden, severe headaches
- Recent birth
Is prenatal massage safe throughout the entire pregnancy?
Women can begin massage therapy at any point in their pregnancy – during the first, second, or third trimester. Most therapists will recommend you wait until after the first trimester due to complications/risks experienced in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
For further details please don’t hesitate to call Lorraine Blackshields @ Procuro Physical Therapy Clinic on 021 2409186.