The Benefits of Prenatal Massage
Massage performed during pregnancy can reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscle aches and joint pains, and improve labor outcomes and newborn health.
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, so that your pelvic joints are less stable, and changes your posture, pulling your pelvis forward. Add to that the extra weight you’re carrying and you may find you’ve got an aching lower back.
Benefits of Pre-natal Massage
Reduction of swelling
Edema, or swelling of the joints during pregnancy, is often caused by reduced circulation and increased pressure on the major blood vessels by the heavy uterus. Massage helps to stimulate soft tissues to reduce collection of fluids in swollen joints, which also improves the removal of tissue waste, carried by the body’s lymph system.
Improvement of nerve pain
Sciatic nerve pain is experienced by many women in late pregnancy as the uterus rests on muscles of the pelvic floor and lower back. The pressure of the uterus spreads tension to the muscles of the upper and lower leg, causing them to swell and put pressure on nearby nerves. Massage therapy addresses the inflamed nerves by helping to release the tension on nearby muscles. Many women have experienced significant reduction in sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy through regular massage.
Other benefits of prenatal massage:
- Reduced muscle tension and headaches
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Improved oxygenation of soft tissues and muscles
- Better sleep
Body position during prenatal massage
Most women find it uncomfortable to lie face down right from the start of pregnancy because of their tender, swollen breasts. And you can’t lie face down on a traditional massage table once your belly has started to grow. On the other hand, it’s not a good idea to lie flat on your back either, particularly once you’re past mid-pregnancy, because the weight of your uterus puts too much pressure on the vein that returns blood from your legs to your heart.
For these reasons, we at the Spa at Four Seasons Hong Kong use either our special pad with hollowed-out areas and special pillows to accommodate your belly, and often your breasts as well.