The Benefits of Massage for Expectant Moms
With more than 17 years of experience in prenatal massage, MMT’s Massage Therapist Peter Rogers has seen first hand the relief that massage can bring to moms-to-be.
“When you’re pregnant, your body is really going through some extreme changes,” he said. “It’s not just that you have a growing baby inside of you; to make room, your organs are pushed around. Your weight shifts and that changes your sense of balance. Your muscles get stretched and tight to accommodate your body’s changes as well.”
During the nine months of pregnancy, these changes result in all sorts of aches and pains that a woman may never have experienced before. Pre-natal massage can benefit both mom and baby, according to Peter.
“Massage is generally a very relaxing experience for everyone, and the same is true during pregnancy,” he said. “When Mom relaxes, the baby relaxes. I can’t remember a massage where the mom has told me that the baby has become more active. They tend to settle down during the massage.”
This is likely due to the fact that we release endorphins and serotonin in response to the relaxing experience of a massage, which the baby also feels.
“Massage really does chill the baby out,” said Peter. “When you have an active pregnancy, that can also be a nice break for the mom too.”
Beyond giving a pregnant body some relief from aches and pains, massage therapy also provides additional benefits. It stimulates the lymphatic system and, according to the American Pregnancy Association, can help reduce edema or water retention. Certain hormones can also affect the circulatory system during pregnancy, and massage can aid in restoring blood circulation to the body.
“The nice thing about prenatal massage is that it is quite safe,” said Peter. “There really are no major contraindications for prenatal massage other than excessive heat, which is not an issue here.”
MMT recently acquired padding specifically designed to keep moms comfortable during massages. Massages can either focus on full-body treatments or on addressing specific issues, such as aches and pains. Additionally, massage packages are available for moms-to-be for regular care during the exciting months leading up to the arrival of the new baby.