Evidence from studies done over the last 10 years or so strongly suggests there are great health benefits for the mom but also benefits to the health of the newborn when therapeutic massage is incorporated into regular prenatal care.
BENEFITS OF PRENATAL MASSAGE
Hormone Regulation – Hormone levels associated with stress, such as cortisol and norepinephrine, are reduced. Conversely, hormone levels associated with relaxation, such as serotonin and dopamine, are increased. These hormone shifts lead to better mood regulation, improved cardiovascular health, fewer complications during birth, and fewer instances of newborn complications, such as low birth weight. Balanced hormones can also help with fatigue.
Improved Circulation – During a massage, blood and lymph flow is increased. This improved blood and lymph flow become even more important during pregnancy because a woman’s blood supply doubles while she is carrying a baby. Massage can Reduce swelling in the joints (edema) by stimulating the soft tissues to reduce the collection of fluids and encouraging the removal of tissue waste carried by the body’s lymph system. Massage delivers more oxygen to the mother and baby. Oxygen in the blood can increase up to 15% after a massage!
Reduced Nerve Pain – Many women in late pregnancy experience sciatic nerve pain as the uterus presses on muscles of the lower back and pelvic floor. Massage relieves tension in the muscles of the upper and lower leg, causing them to relax and ease pressure applied to nearby nerves.
Reduce Muscular Pain – Massage eases tension throughout the entire body, including the low back & neck. Massage helps relieve calf cramps.
Calm The Nervous System – Massage can decrease pregnancy-related insomnia, by relaxing the body.
Strengthens the Immune System – Stimulates the release of endorphins, the body’s natural pain-killers, into the brain and nervous system.
Improves Mental Health – Helps relieve anxiety, depression, and postpardum depression.
$100 – 60 minute massage
$140 – 90 minute massage
There are certain times when we require a doctor’s note. This includes a history of a high-risk pregnancy or conditions such as pre-term labor, pre-eclampsia, eclampsia, DVT, pregnancy induced hypertension, swelling, high blood pressure, sudden severe headaches, or has recently given birth.
OUR FAVORITE RESOURCES
Kellie Edson – An International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA) certified childbirth educator and Lactation Consultant Assistant (LCA) offering private and semi-private childbirth, breastfeeding and postpartum classes in the greater Sacramento area.
Emily Bay – Emily Bay is certified in both Pre-natal and Post-natal Massage, as well as a prenatal yoga teacher. If you live in Davis, CA you are in luck! That’s where her practice is.
Herself Moms – Herself Moms has designed a Prenatal Yoga class to prepare the expectant mom physically, cognitively, and emotionally for the process of labor. Many of the yoga positions that are taught are also amazing positions to use in labor. Moms will learn positive positions for labor and pushing, breathing techniques and various tools that can be used during her labor.
Infant Massage USA – Once the baby has arrived, take some time to learn how to massage your baby. Infant massage is an ancient art that connects you deeply with the person who is your baby, and helps you to understand your baby’s particular nonverbal language and respond with love and respectful listening. It empowers you as a parent, for it gives you the means by which you become an expert on your own child.
Ina Mays Guide To Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin – Ina May Gaskin, America’s leading midwife, shares her exceptional birthing wisdom in this intuitive guide to childbirth. By sharing a wealth of knowledge generated by three decades of experience she explains why the natural birthing process, when left to its own devices, can proceed so beautifully on its own.
OUR FAVORITE PREGNANCY WEBSITES:
AskDrSears.com – Advice from Dr Sears on Pregnancy and Childbirth, Parenting and Behavior, Feeding and Eating, and Health Concerns, plus special features and video tips.
PregnantChicken.com – Keeping Pregnancy Sunny Side Up. All things related to pregnancy and newborns. Pregnancy calendar, baby registry, and great articles.
MORE ABOUT PRENATAL MASSAGE: