by Michele Gee
1. Fights Depression and Anxiety
Regular massage during pregnancy helps to regulate and balance stress hormones, alleviating depression and anxiety. We all know that pregnancy hormones can be a bit extreme so giving your body a little extra soothing touch can go a long way for lifting your spirits. Massage stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the body’s time to “rest and digest”. During a massage, cortisol and norepinephrine, both associated with stress, are decreased and dopamine and serotonin, which are both mood enhancers, are increased. As most of us tend to live highly intense, fast-paced lives that are ruled by our sympathetic nervous system - “fight or flight” - it is so important that we balance this lifestyle out with some restful healing massage.
2. Keeps You Healthy and Energetic
3. Increases Blood Circulation
4. Eases Common Pregnancy Discomforts
Common muscular discomforts of pregnancy are eased with regular massage. Receiving massage during pregnancy can relieve sciatic pain, calf cramps, headaches, neck, shoulder, hip, and low backaches. Combining massage with regular exercise and stretching is the best way to prepare your body for your upcoming birth.
5. Promotes Better Sleep
Sleep during pregnancy is often disrupted whether it’s by a pesky bladder or hormonal shifting. It is so important to get lots of rest during pregnancy because this is the time that the body uses for healing and rejuvenating. Especially toward the end of pregnancy,as your body prepares for labor and birth, it is vital to be well rested. Regular massage helps to promote sleep by decreasing stress hormones.
6. Builds Bonding and Connection Between Mama and Baby
Do keep in mind that massage is contraindicated for certain conditions during pregnancy. If you have been deemed “high risk”, make sure you get a waiver from your care provider before seeking prenatal massage. Massage during the first trimester is also controversial because of the increased risk of miscarriage.