Prenatal massage: Help for your pregnancy aches and pains

What is prenatal massage?

Prenatal massage is a type that’s similar to regular massage – it aims to relax tense muscles, ease sore spots, improve circulation and mobility, and just make you feel good. But prenatal massage is also customized to the needs of pregnant women and their changing bodies, and therapists trained in prenatal massage adjust their techniques accordingly.

Carrying a baby inside you changes your center of gravity and puts a lot of stress on your back, neck, abdominal muscles, and shoulders. Pregnancy also relaxes your ligaments, meaning your pelvic joints are less stable, and it also changes your posture, pulling your pelvis forward. Add to that the extra weight you’re carrying and you may end up with an aching lower back.

A trained prenatal massage therapist knows where a pregnant woman’s sore and swollen spots are likely to be and may be able to provide some relief. She’ll also know which techniques and areas to avoid.

What are the benefits of massage during pregnancy?

The benefits of prenatal massage include a wide range of physiological, emotional and psychological benefits.

  • Alleviates stress on weight-bearing joints and musculo-fascial structures
  • Assists in remedying many of the common discomforts experienced during pregnancy: muscular discomforts, lower-back pain, upper-back pain, headaches, leg cramps, sciatica, stiffness, tension and knots, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches, heartburn and acid reflux, fatigue, varicose veins, nasal congestion, shortness of breath, edema of the lower extremities, neck pain, interscapular pain, sacroiliac and hip joint pain and constipation
  • Increases blood circulation, which provides more oxygen and nutrients to both mother and fetus and stimulates the lymph system, thereby increasing immunity and removal of toxins
  • Stabilizes hormonal levels and helps relieve depression or anxiety caused by hormonal changes
  • Soothes and relaxes the nervous system by releasing endorphins into the mother’s body. As a result, the expectant mother feels more relaxed and at ease, and will also sleep more easily and more deeply
  • Assists in maintaining good posture and adjusting to a changing alignment caused by the baby’s increasing weight. Massage increases muscle tone and flexibility, enhancing the ability to carry this extra weight while also relieving aches and pains, leg cramps and muscle spasms
  • Eases the load on the heart and helps keep blood pressure in check
  • Enhances the pliability of skin and underlying tissues
  • Supports the return of blood to the heart and increases blood flow to the uterus and placenta. With the enormous demands placed on the circulatory system during pregnancy, blood volume may increase up to 60 percent compared to pre-pregnancy levels. As pregnancy progresses and the uterus enlarges and presses deep into the pelvic bowl, venous return to the heart is hampered
  • Prepares the mother-to-be for an easier delivery with its sedating effect on the nervous system, promoting relaxation and stress relief
  • Offers a natural, safe, drug-free alternative choice for pain relief, since taking medications are often limited during a pregnancy for the sake of the unborn child
  • In addition to the physical benefits, prenatal massage provides expecting women with the emotional support and nurturing touch provided by nonsexual human touch and energy.

How can I find a good prenatal massage therapist?

It is important to seek care from a certified prenatal massage therapist.  Certified therapists have received training beyond the national standards for massage therapists and know how to address specific pregnancy and massage needs.

They are aware of how to position you safely and prevent strain to the uterine ligaments. They are also able to watch for symptoms of blood clots and varicose veins.

Talk to your doctor first

Women who have recently experienced bleeding, pre-term contractions, or have any of the following conditions should speak with a health care provider prior to receiving a massage:

  • High risk pregnancy
    Pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH)
  • Preeclampsia
  • Previous pre-term labor
  • Experiencing severe swelling, high blood pressure, or sudden, severe headaches
  • Recently gave birth

Contact Orlando Massage Clinic

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In Home or In Office Massages by Jakki in the Greater Orlando / Central Florida area. Certified for many different massages and treatments. Specializing in Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) post surgery recovery massage.

To schedule an appointment with Licensed Massage Therapist and Certified Advanced Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapist, Jakki Bosco LMT, please call (813) 298-5603.   We believe nothing is more important than human touch.

Providing massage services to patients in Orlando FL, Windermere, Clermont, Winter Garden, Dr. Phillips, Kissimmee, Apopka, Winter Park, Altamonte Springs and surrounding areas.

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