How Does Prenatal Massage Help a Pregnant Woman?
Pregnancy does a lot of things to a woman's body. It strains her lower back, reduces the strength of her core muscles, and puts a lot of pressure down her legs and feet. These issues can well be managed by prenatal massage.
If you're a pregnant woman, your muscles will surely love a massage as you carry around all that extra weight. Moreover, as your baby grows, its weight can bring muscle tension and inflammation. One result of this is the inflammation of nearby nerves, which then leads to sciatic nerve pain. If you put mild pressure on your muscle groups, the swelling eases because of the blood flow stimulation all throughout your body.
On top of tight muscle relief, other advantages await you when you have prenatal massage. Based on studies, pregnant women who get a massage every week have more feel-good hormones, namely dopamine and serotonin; and less of the stress hormone, cortisol. Such hormonal changes are associated with fewer childbirth difficulties, as revealed by a decrease in premature births in depressed women by 75 percent. You sure don't have to be depressed in order to benefit from prenatal massage, but another study showed that pregnant women going through depression dramatically improved their moods as they received 20-minute massages twice a week.
Prenatal massage is obviously different from conventional massage. You may have to sit semi-reclined, for one, or lie on one side. You are not supposed to lie on your back as it puts too much pressure on your tummy, thus restricting blood flow. To reduce lower-back pain and make sure your spine is well-aligned, your Prenatal Massage Edmonton AB therapist will probably use specially designed pillows or bolsters that support your feet and knees. Or you may just have to lie in prone position on a table that has a hole to accommodate your belly. Prenatal massages are also usually shorter - around 30 to 45 minutes as opposed to the typical 60 to 90 minutes.
Contrary to common perception, no part of the body should be completely off-limits to massage - yes, even the feet of a pregnant woman. Some people actually fear that massaging specific areas of the foot can bring in labor; if this were indeed true, each overdue pregnant woman could just get a foot massage instead of having a doctor induce her. This misconception most probably stems from the fact that in reflexology, ankle pressure points are related to the ovaries and uterus. Pushing on these areas, however, isn't exactly going to start contractions. Unless you have certain conditions that make your pregnancy high-risk, prenatal massage is safe. In any case, it always makes sense to see your ob-gyn before a massage.
There are different requirements for massage-therapy training for every state, and some Massage Therapist Edmonton AB therapists have no prenatal experience. Choose one who has prenatal massage certification.