Massage During Pregnancy

Once conception has taken place, massage can not only benefit the mother, but may also promote the health of the fetus. Many massage therapists and physicians and do not recommend perinatal massage during the first trimester because this is the phase of pregnancy with highest risk of miscarriage. However, there are some therapists with the training, skills, and understanding of prenatal massage that allow them in certain cases to perform massage throughout all three trimesters.

Benefits Of Massage During Pregnancy

Along with the guidance and advice of a prenatal care provider, perinatal massage can be incorporated into routine prenatal care as an emotional and physical health supplement proven to improve pregnancy outcome and maternal health.

Emotional: During pregnancy, perinatal massage aids patients in their overall emotional and physical wellbeing. Emotionally, relieving stresses on the mind of the mother can promote a more stable and successful pregnancy. This emotional support can help the mother cope with the changes in her body, especially if she is experiencing depression or anxiety issues related to hormonal imbalance.

Physically: Regular massages can help prepare the mother’s body for labor, improve circulation, promote better sleep, reduce swelling, and relieve lower back pain. Decreasing the stress on weight-bearing joints and aiding in improving posture as the weight of the baby increases can lead to a more comfortable and enjoyable pregnancy. Perinatal massage can also improve skin pliability, which can lead to fewer or less distinct stretch marks during pregnancy and after birth.

Massage During Labor

Receiving a perinatal massage during labor helps many patients get through this sometimes difficult transition period. This stage is vitally important, as it is the first introduction the baby has into his or her new world. Therefore, it is essential that the expectant mother is as relaxed and comfortable as possible.

Benefits Of Massage During Labor

Whether the delivery experience takes place at home, in a hospital, or at a birthing center, a perinatal massage therapist can accompany her and assist in this process. Creating counter pressure along the lower back while the mother-to-be experiences contractions can help in reducing pain. Additionally, massage to the hips applies pressure that helps them adjust and make way for baby. Emotionally, having perinatal massage incorporated into the period of labor has been proven to reduce stress and empower a laboring mother.

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Postpartum Massage

Postpartum massage can positively affect the healing process that occurs after a woman has given birth. It can also help to stimulate milk flow for mothers that are nursing.

Benefits Of Postpartum Massage

Milk production: By improving circulation and reducing stress hormones, massage can help increase the flow of breast milk. The sleep deprivation that comes with having an infant along with even a slight nutrient deficiency can inhibit milk production. Receiving perinatal massage relaxes the body and aids in boosting the levels of milk produced.

Abdominal recovery: There are also perinatal massage techniques that can assist in the recovery of a mother’s midsection, helping return the abdominal muscles to their proper placement as best as possible. For those women who gave birth through a cesarean section, perinatal massage is safe and very beneficial once the healing process of the incision area is complete. Massage can help relax their muscle fibers, heal scar tissue, and foster abdominal strengthening.

Perinatal massage is a natural and drug-free choice for physical and emotional support before, during, and after pregnancy. As long as the mother and baby are healthy and the pregnancy is not considered high risk, perinatal massage can provide many benefits to overall maternal health and pregnancy outcomes.

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