Claire Gordon and Ross Ashcraft
Are you pregnant? Does your back, feet, or pelvic area hurt? Or are you stressed and need to relax? If so you might want to consider getting a pregnancy massage. Pregnancy massage can help to minimize the stress put on the body, promote the release of the hormone relaxin, increase circulation and relieve all sorts of aches and pains that may arise during the course of a healthy pregnancy.
It can also help with the following:
1. Reduces stress
2. Relieves fatigue, knots, cramps, and stiffness in muscles
3. Relieves stress on weight baring joints
4. Promotes sleep, relaxation, and restfulness
5. Relaxes the baby
6. Supplies the body with more blood and lymph circulation, which in turn provides the mother and the baby with more oxygen.
7. Improve skin and muscle tone
8. Improves skin elasticity, which reduces stretch marks
Effect on Hormones
Studies have shown that stress and relaxation hormones are significantly affected by massage therapy. Women that have massages throughout the course of their pregnancy, show signs of increased dopamine and serotonin levels, as well as decrease in the stress norepinephrine and cortisol. This translates to greater comfort and less stress for the mother. Less stress on the mother, decreases stress on the baby. This leads to fewer complications for the baby and labor.
What to Expect from a Pregnancy Massage
When you arrive for your first pregnancy massage, you will have to fill out an intake form containing your health history and on this form you will be able to indicate where any of your discomforts are. Your massage therapist is trained on where your general pregnancy pains are, but you should communicate where you are experiencing pain. The massage is about you. If at any time you are in discomfort don’t be afraid to tell your therapist. They are there to make you feel as best as you can.
A) You will most likely start the massage, face-up with pillows under you back and head. B) The therapist will lovingly massage your head, neck and arms. C) She’ll offer to massage your belly. Accepting that offer will be completely up to you. D) Finally your legs will be massaged; however, if back pain or discomfort has become a problem, you will be turned into a sidelying position for the remainder of the massage. E) After your legs and feet, your back will be massage from a sidelying position.
At no point will you be exposed. Your comfort and emotional well being are paramount. Talk to your therapist throughout the massage and confirm that you are receiving the best treatment possible.
We’d love to hear from you. What is your favorite part of sidelying or pregnancy massage?