During pregnancy the body will go through a huge amount of changes, both physically and emotionally, which can lead to stress and discomfort for the expectant mother. Massage is not a new concept for pregnant women, the role has been a long standing tradition and has played an integral part in both prenatal and postnatal care.
Pregnancy can often be a time with positive and negative emotions – fatigue, morning sickness, and muscle ache are some examples of concerns that can lead to increased stress. Massage can help with relaxation and help to reduce stress. In one study pregnant women who received a 20minute treatment twice a week reported reduced anxiety, improved mood, better sleep and less back pain by the end of the study.
Muscle pain is very common during pregnancy, and there will be a great deal of changes to a woman’s posture. As the baby grows her center of gravity will shift forward putting more strain on the supporting joints, particularly on the pelvis. It is common that the lower back curve will be increased and the muscles can become short and tight causing compression and pain. To compensate the head will move forward putting increased tension into the muscles of the neck and shoulders. Massage can help to decrease chronic muscle tension, help increase range of motion at a joint, improve circulation, help bring nutrients to the tissues and reduce waste products and fatigue.
Today expectant mothers are busy with juggling lots of different things. Massage can have many positive effects on a pregnant woman, but especially, it gives them the time away from their busy lives to try and relax and look after themselves.