27 Sep Making Pregnancy Easier!
Any pregnant woman (and any enthusiastic partners) will have heard about the pregnancy massage hype – and its critics. If you type the words into google you are flooded with information telling you this and that, most of which is outdated or written without having any firsthand experience.
From our first hand experience, pregnancy massage is an effective, instrumental and important aspect of any pregnancy.
Here’s a few reasons we believe it’s empirical to any pregnancy. If you don’t believe us, ask our great pregnancy clients!
Reduces stress, anxiety and depression symptoms:
Perinatal depression is common and carries significant risks to both mother and child. Studies have concluded that massage therapy is significantly associated with reduced depressive symptoms, stress and anxiety in pregnant women and less incidents of prematurity and low birth weights (see here). Want to know exactly how it works? Check out this study for evidence on how massage decreases cortisol levels and increases levels of serotonin and dopamine.
Relieves muscle spasms and cramps:
The most common causes of muscle spasms during pregnancy include fatigue, dehydration, lack of stretching or movement or an imbalanced diet. Massage increases flexibility, enhancing the ability to carry the extra weight and relieves spasms and cramps.
Reduces nerve pain:
Sciatic nerve pain is common in late stages of pregnancy as the uterus rests on the muscles of the pelvic floor and lower back. This pressure spreads tension to the muscles in the leg, causing them to swell and put pressure on nearby nerves. Massage therapy helps release the tension on nearby muscles and can significantly reduce sciatic nerve pain with regular treatment.
Helps you to sleep better:
We all know that massage helps to relax the mind and body, generally resulting in better sleep. However, pregnancy induced insomnia is a whole different playing field. Is massage therapy effective in these instances? We’ve done some research. Early studies into massage for sleep quality and insomnia during pregnancy have revealed that exercise and massage may be associated with improved sleep quality during pregnancy (see here also). However, due to lack of substantive high quality evidence a definitive call can’t be made. But from our client’s perspective, improved sleep quality is definitely a benefit of pregnancy massage.
May decrease labour time, pain and need for medication:
A recent study of labour pain showed that women who received massage therapy throughout their pregnancy experienced significantly less pain, and their labours were on average three hours shorter, and with less need for medication. Need I say more? See here to see the study results.