Most of the time we think of massage as being a luxury to be indulged in once in a while, but during pregnancy, massage becomes more important than ever before. We all know that being pregnant causes some uncomfortable mental and physical side effects. Massage by a trained practitioner who understands pre-natal massage and uses correct pillows and bolsters (such as those shown in the image above) can make all the difference to your pregnancy.
Swollen extremities can be really uncomfortable. Swollen feet and ankles are the worst trial to endure, but sometimes the hands become puffy and swollen too. A good massage helps to bring down the swelling while imparting a whole range of other benefits.
Reduces back and leg pain
It’s hardly surprising that we suffer from extra pain in our back and legs during pregnancy. After all, baby doesn’t exactly weigh nothing and lugging all that extra weight around puts extra strain in muscles and joints. Pregnancy massage is a safe, effective way of dealing with aches and pains without the need for medications that could be bad for baby.
Increases blood and lymph circulation
Getting our blood and lymph flowing properly ensures that our tissues get sufficient nourishment and ensures that toxins are flushed out of the body. With your metabolism working overtime to help baby grow and develop, it becomes all the more beneficial to get rid of all the toxins that our bodies produce as by-products of metabolic processes.
Better oxygenation of the blood
Improved blood circulation also means that there’s more oxygen in your bloodstream. You could have 10 – 15% more oxygen in your blood, and that’s good news for both you and your baby. Baby’s getting all his or her oxygen from your bloodstream, and oxygen also fuels your metabolism.
Stronger immune system
You know that getting ill during pregnancy poses risks for you and your baby. Massage therapy is known to boost the immune system. Research has shown that those who go for regular massages have more white blood cells to protect them from illness. If the feel-good benefits of a massage aren’t enough to tempt you, this investment in you and your baby’s health might persuade you take the plunge.
All the benefits of relaxation
Being more relaxed will benefit both you and your baby. Getting rid of those tensions with the help of a massage will help you to sleep better at night. You won’t be as prone to the pre-baby blues and you’ll be less susceptible to anxiety.
It isn’t just the relaxation of your muscles that brings about these benefits. Massage actually decreases the hormone norepinephrine which is also known as the ‘stress hormone’. As if that weren’t enough, it increases your ‘feel good’ hormones, serotonin and dopamine – that’s also part of the reason why you’ll sleep better at night – but the immediate effect is that you feel great!
Is your partner complaining that you’re ‘moody’? Instead of muttering something along the lines of “Well, you should try being pregnant then” or throwing the contents of your kitchen at his head, hit the massage couch! You’ve just been given a great excuse (if you even need one!).
Image Source: Pregnancy Massage Gold Coast