1. Massage calms the nervous system and promotes relaxation which is highly beneficial to mother and child.
2. Massage helps to ease lower back pain which is common in pregnancy by addressing the changes happening throughout the lumbosacral region.
3. Pregnancy massage can relieve upper back and neck pain which is important to release before the child is born and breastfeeding begins. Breastfeeding is quite hard and puts a lot of stress on the mother’s shoulders, neck and upper back. So if your upper back tension is released before the baby is born you are 10 steps ahead and ready to take on the breastfeeding load.
4. As your belly grows added stress and tightness may occur around the chest and middle back. Regular pregnancy massage softens the muscles around these areas which helps expand breathing capability thereby increasing the oxygen supply to your baby.
5. Massage therapy helps mothers to sleep better. A good night’s rest is vital for a healthy, growing baby.
6. Muscle cramps can be common during pregnancy and massage can definitely help with this along with increased hydration.
7. When you are pregnant your blood volume increases as much as 40%, which can then stress the lymphatic system, and increase fluid retention. Massage can reverse this.
8. Pregnancy can be quite a stressful time for most mothers and massage has been proven to reduce stress hormones and increase the “happy hormones” improving the mood of the mother and benefiting the growing baby at the same time.
9. Increased circulation aided by massage therapy helps transport nutrients around the body and to the baby. Increased circulation can also help eliminate fluid retention which is common in pregnancy.
10. It’s always nice to hear the recent research and studies which indicate that pregnancy massage is safe and does more than just give symptom relief. The Touch Research Institute in Miami, Florida did some case studies and found that as well as all the above listed benefits the women also had fewer complications during their delivery as well as fewer postnatal complications. The report stated shorter hospital stays, shorter labor times and less postpartum depression.
Having had 3 healthy pregnancies and delivering 3 healthy, calm and happy babies I feel confident in saying the above benefits of regular pregnancy massage definitely were true in my experience.