I’ve heard a lot of women during their pregnancy say that they’re not sure if getting a massage is safe or worth the effort.

Well it’s no secret that I am big fan of regular massage treatments, especially when you know enough about your body and how you hold tension. Here’s why I think pregnancy massage is particularly necessary for women who have the means, and who want to take loving care of themselves during their pregnancy.

brisbane_doula_pregnancy_massage

Perfect Potion’s Full Bloom birthing oil is a favourite of mine to use when women are 38 weeks + and of course during labour!

Reduces Stress + Anxiety

Do I need to say more? Most of us struggle with getting enough relaxation if we’re really honest. We know that pregnancy can also be a time of increased stress and anxiety for lots of women.

Research with women experiencing depression who receiving regular, short massages in their third trimester found that they had significantly reduced levels of cortisol and norepinephrine (stress hormones) and increased levels of dopamine and serotonin. [1]

However it’s not just women with anxiety or depression that can benefit from pregnancy massage. Earlier research has shown similar results with pregnant women without these mental health issues. [2]

Pregnancy can offer an amazing opportunity to reflect on what we really value, and taking care of ourselves is such important modeling for our little people. Plus if not now then when? Once your bub arrives it will be even harder to do this!

Helps You to Sleep

It’s difficult to find a pregnant woman who isn’t having trouble sleeping at some stage. When your body is holding tension and feeling sore and tired pregnancy massage can help give you a reset and allow you to rest more easily and deeply.

Compared to other techniques like progressive muscle relaxation, studies have found that women receiving pregnancy massage not only reported reduced anxiety, and improved mood, but also better sleep. [3]

Helps Pelvic Alignment

Some specialty forms of massage are particularly focused on getting your uterus into the most optimum position in your pelvis, which helps with circulation and optimal functioning. The Mayan Abdominal Massage aims to do just this, and many women have found it has also helped with menstruation issues like pain and infertility.

During pregnancy Mayan Abdominal Massage has been reported to help relieve back pain, hip pain and help with pelvic alignment.[4] This is a big one for getting ready to birth, because we want that baby in the best position (optimal fetal positioning) which can help your labour and birth to be as smooth as possible.

Helps with Aches + Pains

It’s a common complaint of many women in pregnancy to say they experience aches and pains in their back, hips, pelvis, legs… the list can go on! We often hear from GPs and midwives that this is all a normal part of pregnancy. However studies[5] have found that women receiving pregnancy massage have decreased levels of pain- surprise surprise! It seems it’s well worth trying it out.

brisbane_doula_flower

It’s Your Time to Take Care of Yourself

I know it’s hard to find the time. I know you might feel guilty spending the money on yourself. But you really do deserve this. Your baby and family REALLY need you take care of yourself dear muma.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, was massage during your pregnancy helpful for you?

Birthing Blessings,

Anne
xox

References

[1] Field, T., Diego, M., Hernandez-Reif, M., Schanberg, S., & Kuhn, C. (2004). Massage therapy effects on depressed pregnant women. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology, 25(2), 115-122.

[2] Field, T., Hemandez-Reif, M., Hart, S., Theakston, H., Schanberg, S., & Kuhn, C. (1999). Pregnant women benefit from massage therapy. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology, 20(1), 31-38.

[3] Field, T., et al 2004

[4] Hirsch, A. (2007). A modern midwife’s experience with ancient maya techniques of abdominal/uterine massage. United States: Midwifery Today, Inc. Online: http://www.midwiferytoday.com/articles/ancientmaya.asp

[5] Field, T., et al 1999; Field, T., et al 2004; and Field, T., Figueiredo, B., Hernandez-Reif, M., Diego, M., Deeds, O., & Ascencio, A. (2008). Massage therapy reduces pain in pregnant women, alleviates prenatal depression in both parents and improves their relationships. Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies, 12(2), 146-150.

Please follow and like us: