Massage relieves many of the normal discomforts experienced during pregnancy, such as backaches, stiff neck, leg cramps, headaches and edema (or swelling). In addition, massage for pregnant women reduces stress on weight-bearing joints, encourages blood and lymph circulation, helps to relax nervous tension -- which aids in better sleep -- and can help relieve depression or anxiety caused by hormonal changes.
Prenatal sessions are tailored specifically to the needs of pregnant women and their changing bodies, and therapists who are trained in prenatal massage adjust their techniques accordingly. Prenatal massage is best given while you lie on your side propped up by pillows. Sideline positioning with supportive, soft cushions is used to alleviate the extra strain on the lower back and pelvic areas when the pressure of massage techniques are applied. Neck and shoulder massage, or lower leg and foot massage are also safe sitting-up options.
The benefits of massage can improve overall prenatal health for many pregnant women, and massage therapy is proven to improve pregnancy outcome and maternal health. As always, it is important to consult with your midwife or obstetrician before beginning any new therapeutic practice.
Learn more about Prenatal Massage at Balanced Bodywork.
Here are some more good links and information about massage for pregnancy:
Massage & Pregnancy--Prenatal Massage
Therapeutic massage has been used for centuries to improve overall health, reduce stress, and relieve muscle tension. Massage and pregnancy has often received ambivalent responses from the health community regarding the safety and purpose of massage during pregnancy. Modern investigation and research is proving that prenatal massage therapy can be a very instrumental ingredient in women's prenatal care and should be given careful consideration. Read more...
Benefits of Pregnancy Massage
While a woman is pregnant her body undergoes numerous changes physically as well as physiologically and spiritually. The physical changes can cause stress and or discomfort to the mother. Massage is a wonderful way to help alleviate many of these discomforts, as well as promotes a sense of well-being. Read more...
Postpartum massage can be as important and beneficial as massage during pregnancy. Postpartum bodywork is an effective and holistic approach for the many adjustments to motherhood. You may be surprised to receive much more than a spa retreat. Read more...