6 Reasons Pregnant Women Should Consider a Body Massage
An aching back, sciatica pain, swollen ankles, sore feet, digestive issues, emotional stress, and hormones that leave you ecstatic one minute, then weeping for no reason the next.
Yep, we're talking about pregnancy.
Many women adore the myriad sensations of carrying a new life inside of them, but there's no denying that these nine months are some of the most difficult, physiologically speaking, that a body can experience.
One restorative way to ease your aches and soothe your psyche is to get a full body massage.
Read on to learn some specific benefits of pregnancy massage!
Alleviate Back Aches
Watch any sitcom or goofy movie involving a pregnant women, and it's guaranteed that the actress will be walking around with her pelvis thrust forward and her hand clamped to her lower back.
It's not just a stereotype that pregnant women have persistent aches and pains; in fact, fully one-third of pregnant women experience lower back pain. It usually only gets worse in the second and third trimesters, as baby grows bigger.
Sciatica pain is another common pregnancy woe due to strain on the muscles. Both of these can be relieved by regular body massages.
Are your ankles swollen? That's due to excessive water buildup, otherwise known as edema. Swollen ankles and feet are common in pregnancy, because the lymphatic system isn't able to drain as easily.
Massage can increase lymphatic drainage, thereby reducing the swelling.
Nourish Your Growing Baby
One of the best overall benefits of body massage is an increase in your circulation. This, in turn, will increase the amount of oxygen and nutrients that are transported to the fetus through your blood.
In other words, pregnancy massage is much more than a selfish way to help Mom feel better -- it actually helps baby grow, too!
Improve Your Sleep
Many factors conspire to rob a pregnant woman of her necessary eight (or more) hours of sleep. Heartburn, stress, and the general discomfort of being with child are just some of those factors.
Massage is proven to soothe and relax the central nervous system, leading to more restful and longer-lasting sleep. And let's face it, you need all the sleep you can get.
Boost Your Mood!
In addition to the physical stressors of carrying a child, there are emotional effects, as well. It's common for pregnant women -- especially those who are first-time moms -- to feel apprehensive and scared about giving birth. The idea that your life is going to utterly change can also be a frightening one.
Getting a weekly massage can lower levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress. At the same time, feel-good hormones like dopamine and serotonin are increased through therapeutic touch.
Decrease the Chances of Complications
These positive hormonal changes do more than just make you feel better in the moment. They can actually help you avoid complications during childbirth. Women who experience depression during pregnancy, but who receive treatments to boost serotonin and dopamine (like body massage!), are 75% less likely to give birth prematurely than women who aren't treated.
Ready for Your Body Massage?
Contact Astra Medispa today to learn more about our massage offerings, and to find out how we can accommodate the special needs of the pregnant body.
Have you tried massage for pregnancy? What other ways have you found to relieve your aching back and other symptoms? Let us know in the comments!
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Dedicated and passionate Astra Medicare staff.