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  • Writer's pictureAmanda K.

A Guide to Prenatal Massage Therapy

Relaxing and Nurturing Care for Expectant Mothers

Hey there, mom-to-be! Congratulations on your exciting journey to motherhood!

Pregnancy is an incredible time, but it comes with its share of stress, cramps, mood swings, and sleepless nights. Right?


That’s precisely where Prenatal Massage Therapy steps in to ease your problems and make your pregnancy experience even more incredible.


Now, we totally get that you might have some questions, like what makes a Prenatal Massage different and whether it’s safe for you and your precious little one.


So, we decided to answer all your questions in this blog, allowing you to explore Prenatal Massage with confidence and peace of mind.



How Is a Prenatal Massage Different from Other Massages?


The short answer: It’s like the Swedish Massage’s serene cousin.


During a Prenatal Massage, the pressure is incredibly light, more like a soft, soothing caress than any deep kneading. It’s all about creating a pure comfort experience, and you won’t feel like someone’s digging into your muscles.


Registered Massage Therapists (RMTs) are trained to adapt the massage to ensure your and your baby’s safety and comfort. Every stroke, every touch, is thoughtfully tailored to your unique needs.


Prenatal Massages typically range from 15 minutes to an hour. While some RMTs have specialized pregnancy massage tables that allow you to lie on your stomach, the safest position for a Prenatal Massage is usually lying on your side.


This precaution helps prevent issues like low blood pressure or undue pressure on nerves when lying on your stomach or back.


How Does a Prenatal Massage Help?


As with other massages, a Prenatal Massage offers multiple benefits for expectant mothers.


During pregnancy, your body carries the growing weight, resulting in stress and tension in your back and hips. A prenatal massage can ease this discomfort and improve your mobility.






Here are a few ways it benefits:


Better Sleep and Mood


Research indicates that a Prenatal Massage may play a pivotal role in reducing depression, anxiety, leg pain, and back pain during pregnancy.


In fact, a study from 2009 suggested that it might even lower the risk of prematurity and postpartum depression. Furthermore, a 2013 study found it could support sleep quality throughout pregnancy.


More recent research has indicated that massage may aid in managing fluid retention and swelling associated with pregnancy. Additionally, a 2017 study showed that it might promote relaxation and manage stress levels.


In women receiving bi-weekly massages for five weeks, stress-related hormones like norepinephrine and cortisol decreased, while mood-enhancing hormones like dopamine and serotonin increased. These hormonal changes might translate into fewer complications during birth and a reduced risk of newborn complications, such as low birth weight.


A Labor of Love


Remember those hormones we talked about earlier? Well, they’re not just here for mood swings. They also play a role in labor.


A Prenatal Massage supports the production of the hormone oxytocin. Increased oxytocin can boost your contractions during labor and help you bond better with your baby.


Buh-Bye Pain and Swelling


Swelling, or edema, can be a real pain during pregnancy. Blame it on your growing uterus, which likes to press on blood vessels and slow down circulation.


A Prenatal Massage helps stimulate soft tissues, reducing fluid buildup in swollen joints and enhancing the elimination of waste through the lymphatic system.


And let’s not forget that annoying sciatic nerve pain that can strike in late pregnancy. The pressure from your growing uterus can irritate your pelvic floor and lower back muscles, but A Prenatal Massage might calm those angry nerves by loosening up those nearby muscles.


Frequently Asked Questions

How Early Should You Get a Prenatal Massage?

Do You Wear a Bra During a Prenatal Massage?

What Areas Should Not Be Massaged During Pregnancy?

What Position Do You Lay in For Prenatal Massage?


It’s A Wrap-Up


A Prenatal Massage offers multiple benefits for expectant mothers, from alleviating discomfort to enhancing mood and sleep quality.


At Body Language Massage & Wellness in Oshawa, Ontario, we prioritize your safety and well-being. Our RMTs specialize in gentle pressure techniques and relaxation, ensuring a safe and soothing experience for you and your baby.


While pregnancy may bring its share of worries, a Prenatal Massage is a worry-free way to pamper yourself during this incredible journey. Always consult your doctor if you have any concerns, and trust that our RMTs are here to provide expert care.



References:

  1. Mueller SM, Grunwald M. Effects, Side Effects and Contraindications of Relaxation Massage during Pregnancy: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials. J Clin Med. 2021 Aug 6;10(16):3485. doi: 10.3390/jcm10163485. PMID: 34441781; PMCID: PMC8396946.

  2. Field T, Diego M, Hernandez-Reif M, Deeds O, Figueiredo B. Pregnancy massage reduces prematurity, low birthweight and postpartum depression. Infant Behav Dev. 2009 Dec;32(4):454-60. doi: 10.1016/j.infbeh.2009.07.001. Epub 2009 Jul 30. PMID: 19646762.

  3. Hollenbach D, Broker R, Herlehy S, Stuber K. Non-pharmacological interventions for sleep quality and insomnia during pregnancy: A systematic review. J Can Chiropr Assoc. 2013 Sep;57(3):260-70. PMID: 23997252; PMCID: PMC3743652.

  4. Chen PJ, Chou CC, Yang L, Tsai YL, Chang YC, Liaw JJ. Effects of Aromatherapy Massage on Pregnant Women’s Stress and Immune Function: A Longitudinal, Prospective, Randomized Controlled Trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2017 Oct;23(10):778-786. doi: 10.1089/acm.2016.0426. Epub 2017 Aug 7. PMID: 28783372.

  5. Field T. Pregnancy and labor massage. Expert Rev Obstet Gynecol. 2010 Mar;5(2):177-181. doi: 10.1586/eog.10.12. PMID: 20479957; PMCID: PMC2870995.

  6. Cataldo Oportus S, de Paiva Rodrigues L, Pereira de Godoy JM, Guerreiro Godoy Mde F. Lymph drainage in pregnant women. Nurs Res Pract. 2013;2013:364582. doi: 10.1155/2013/364582. Epub 2013 Oct 22. PMID: 24251034; PMCID: PMC3819918.

  7. Hall H, Cramer H, Sundberg T, Ward L, Adams J, Moore C, Sibbritt D, Lauche R. The effectiveness of complementary manual therapies for pregnancy-related back and pelvic pain: A systematic review with meta-analysis. Medicine (Baltimore). 2016 Sep;95(38):e4723. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000004723. PMID: 27661020; PMCID: PMC5044890.

  8. Dugas C, Slane VH. Miscarriage. [Updated 2022 Jun 27]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK532992/

  9. Sutham K, Na-Nan S, Paiboonsithiwong S, Chaksuwat P, Tongsong T. Leg massage during pregnancy with unrecognized deep vein thrombosis could be life threatening: a case report. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2020 Apr 22;20(1):237. doi: 10.1186/s12884-020-02924-w. PMID: 32321459; PMCID: PMC7178622.


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