Just like a regular massage, prenatal massage loosens the muscles and joints, improves the circulation to you and your baby, and relieves fatigue.
The difference is prenatal massage is performed by a certified prenatal massage specialist who is able to target the unique needs
of mothers-to-be, throughout each specific trimester. Prenatal massage therapists are adept at working with specific conditions that can occur during pregnancy such as pelvic pain, digestive and elimination issues to bring you safe relief.
The health of your uterus and it’s ligaments will assist you in avoiding common complications such as incontinence, prolapse, scar tissue (especially with caesarean) and future fertility issues. Prenatal massage does more than benefit the mother. Everything a pregnant woman does from her diet and fitness to her relaxation and relative state of contentment – also directly affects the child she is carrying. Study after study has proven that calmness in the mother leads to healthier baby development.
According to this study, receiving regular prenatal massage benefits labor by:
- 25% shorter delivery time
- 30% reduction in all pain medications
- 50% fewer cesarean births
- 60% less request for epidurals
Furthermore, prenatal massage:
- Promotes relaxation
- Reduces edema
- Reduces blood pressure & relieves varicose veins
- Improves blood circulation & lymph circulation
- Facilitates support for respiratory, digestive & elimination
- Releases neck, back and and other joint pain
- Relieves muscle spasms and cramps
- Reduces mental strain, fatigue and depression & anxiety
The length of your prenatal massage can range from sixty minutes to two hours depending on your specific needs. Several techniques are employed such as Swedish massage, myofascial, stretching & range of motion, and other modalities to relax and soothe the body, treat and ease tensions. At the end of the session you are left feeling restored, relaxed and comfortable in your happy body. You will also get tips on how to sleep better, foods that support pregnancy, relaxation techniques and exercise to support you during this time of added stress.
As your pregnancy progresses you will find each trimester will hold it’s own focus for your body’s needs.
Prenatal massage during your first trimester
This is when we create the foundation for your pregnancy.
As weight in your belly begins to increases your center of gravity shifts adding stress and strain to weaker areas. This is your opportunity to concentrate on muscles, ligaments, and postural problems to create a stronger structural foundation.
The focus of your first trimester is to address any pre-existing conditions that would include chronic issues: back, neck, shoulder or pelvic pain, sciatica, or other recurring problems. Immediately attending to these issues will support your body’s ability to more easily distribute the added weight as your baby grows. Along with physical support massage at this time also reduces emotional anxieties which are important to a healthy foundation.
Prenatal massage during your second trimester
In some ways this is your baby’s first massage
At this stage the pregnancy is settled in and it is time to focus on uterine support. As your uterus increases in size( 4 oz to 13 lb..) it is easy to over stress the 13 ligaments which give it support. Keeping the ligaments toned easily prevents many debilitating symptoms such as pelvic or back pain, premature delivery, and back labor. However, most importantly massage is a wonderful way to connect to your baby. You will be taught your own self care massage for home play.
Prenatal massage during your third trimester
This is when we start to prepare you for labor.
So many internal and external events are taking place in preparation for your labor and birth. As strain to ligaments increase due to weight and increased hormones simple movements can induce pain until the muscles around them are releases. Also uterine pressure to your legs can cause excessive swelling along with blockages to digestion and elimination. Not only does prenatal massage on a regular basis help combat these symptoms but it will also relax your body in preparation for an easier labor, delivery and recovery.