Benefits of Pregnancy Massage

Massage is a wonderful experience, even more so when you're pregnant. Not only can it help you to relax, but it also helps to support both your body and mind at a time where you are going through some big emotional and physical changes.

Pregnancy massage can be enjoyed from the 14th week of pregnancy onward. Whilst it might be ok to have a massage earlier in pregnancy, the first trimester is considered a riskier time and we therefore avoid massaging during this time.

You will also appreciate a massage more during the second and third trimesters, as it's during these times that you will experience the biggest changes and, as the baby grows, start to feel those common pregnancy related aches and pains.

Massage is a completely natural method of relieving tight, uncomfortable and painful muscles. During pregnancy, it's common to put on up to 40lbs (18kg) in weight, this largely sits around the stomach, hips and thighs, affecting the loading on your back, ligaments and joints. Your centre of gravity will naturally shift forwards (which is often why pregnant women are a bit more unstable on their feet!) and your lower back begins to curve which causes back pain. Having this area massaged during pregnancy can be glorious. Your muscles will thank you for it!

This added weight and strain can put pressure on to your sciatic nerve, the nerve than runs from your bum down the back of your leg. When this is aggravated the pain can be excruciating! Often, pain can be reduced or helped by loosening off the surrounding muscles with massage to relieve pressure on the offending nerve. Sciatic pain won't disappear as it's often the weight of the baby sitting on the nerve that keeps it sore.

Swollen hands and feet? Fluid retention is really common in pregnancy. One of the key focuses of massage is drainage and improving circulation. By getting fluid moving and you blood circulating you will find that your swelling reduces and you feel so much more comfortable.

Oxytocin is a big buzz word when it comes to pregnancy and labour. It's released during massage, along with endorphins, to give you the natural high. You will feel relaxed, happy and chilled out. If you're desperately waiting for baby's appearance, then a massage is a perfect boost to your oxytocin levels and could kick start labour!!

There are also benefits for the baby when mum is massaged.

Did you know... the baby's first organ to develop in the womb is it's skin. Even from very early on in it's development, the baby can feel and communicate through it's skin.

Recent studies have also shown that unborn babies can be affected by their mothers stress levels. Now please don't worry about this, just add it to the many reasons why you should book in for a massage!

If you've got questions about massage during pregnancy then please just ask! I love talking about it and could go on for hours!

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