Pregnancy body massage is a term that identifies any hands-on treatment during or soon after pregnancy. The changes that women’s body encounters during pregnancy are mainly of two natures:
- biomechanical – to do with the increased abdominal size and change in weight bearing
How can pregnancy massage help?
Unfortunately there aren’t many scientific studies proving specific physiological changes established by massage during pregnancy. However pregnancy massage is thought to have the following beneficial effects:
- reduce back and leg pain
- promote muscle relaxation and reduce tightness and joint stiffness
- improve sleep
- reduce anxiety and stress by lowering the levels of the stress hormone norepinephrine and cortisol
- increase levels of feel-good hormones such as dopamine and serotonin resulting in an overall improvement in mood
By promoting the physiological effects of relaxation massage facilitates well being during pregnancy and helps deal with the physical and psychological effects of pregnancy across all its stages.
Some practitioners would argue that any form of treatment should be avoided during the first trimester for the slightly increased chance of miscarriage. However, there is no scientific evidence to prove any links between massage and miscarriage.
During this delicate phase of a woman’s life is it most important that a qualified massage therapist with a specialisation in pregnancy massage carries out the treatment. They will be able to clinically identify contraindications by taking an upfront case history and discussing your health with you, pointing out the best course of treatment.
When should you see a pregnancy massage therapist?
- struggling with back pain since your belly has started increasing in size
- noticing increased swelling of your ankles at the end of the day (especially in this heat!!)
- suffering from leg tiredness and fatigue
- feeling stressed
- just in need of some feel-good and relaxing time