What Is Pregnancy Massage?
Pregnancy massage is a general term for any hands-on massage during or after pregnancy.
Benefits of Pregnancy Massage
A study at the University of Miami School of Medicine found that massage therapy might have several positive effects, including:
- Reduced anxiety
- Reduced back and leg pain
- Better quality of sleep
- Lower levels of the stress hormone norepinephrine
Other research has shown that women suffering from post-natal depression can experience some additional benefits from pregnancy massage;
- Raised levels serotonin and dopamine – the “feel-good” hormones
- Lower levels of cortisol, the primary stress hormone
- General improvement in mood
All of these are in addition to the common benefits of massage experienced by everyone. Massage may relieve pain and boost the immune system’s ability to fight off viruses and tumours.
Safe Techniques for Pregnancy Massage
Many types of massage are considered to be safe and beneficial during and after pregnancy. These include:
- Deep-tissue massage, applying firm pressure to get deep into the muscles
- Swedish massage, using longer, flowing movements along the muscles to increase blood flow and increase to joint mobility
- Shiatsu massage, which uses a combination of pressure and tapping on acupressure points to stimulate the flow of the body’s natural energy
Your therapist will discuss the most appropriate type of massage for you, depending on your stage of pregnancy and any discomfort or other issues that you wish to address.