PREGNANCY IS A TIME OF GREAT CHANGE FOR A WOMAN, NOT ONLY PHYSICALLY, BUT MENTALLY AND EMOTIONALLY TOO.
Massage can help with all these changes – says guest expert Julie Ashby
There are many physiological, structural, and psychological changes occurring daily when you’re pregnant, and many growing pains that accompany this include increased weight, hormonal changes, and ever increasing dropping of the pelvis. Massage therapy can provide significant relief from all those aches and growing pains.
Here are 10 reasons why a pregnancy massage will benefit you and your baby.
1. Massage helps increase circulation, which helps to transport oxygen and nutrients to the cells better. This then provides your baby with better nourishment and oxygen supply. Increasing circulation also helps reduces the changes of varicose veins forming.
2. Regular pregnancy massage helps to soften the muscles around the lungs and thoracic cage, which helps to expand breathing capability and provide more oxygen to your baby.
3. Massage improves skin elasticity, increases flexibility and tone to the muscles, which can help ease muscle cramps and reduce stress on weight bearing joints.
4. Massage works very effectively on the nervous system to induce a sense of calm, which then in turn helps you to sleep better and help your baby to grow healthier.
5. Massage helps to ease lower back pain associated with pregnancy through addressing the lumbosacral tilt that occurs.
6. Massage stimulates the endocrine system and the associated glands, which then helps to stabilize and reduce stress hormones to the baby.
7. Regular massage during pregnancy can help to relieve those tense shoulders, chest and back and also help prepare you for the breastfeeding stage where you will be leaning over baby a lot.
8. Massage helps to maintain correct posture, which then alleviates shoulder, neck and lower back pain.
9. When you are pregnant your blood volume increases as much as 40%, which can the stress the lymphatic system, and increase fluid retention. Massage can reverse this.
10. Lastly recent research studies indicate that pregnancy massage does more than just give symptom relief. The Touch Research Institute in Miami, Florida did some case studies and found that as well as all the above listedbenefits the women also had fewer complications during their delivery as well as fewer postnatal complications. The report stated shorter hospital stays, shorter labor times and less postpartum depression.
*Julie Ashby is a Holistic Massage Therapist at Chakana Avalon Beauty and Wellbeing, and a Yoga Teacher, who specialises in Pregnancy Massage.