March 8th, 2019
Many women ask if massage is safe to relieve their pregnancy pains and safe for their growing child. The women who have experienced it will tell you that prenatal massage is a lifesaver, especially during late pregnancy. Numerous scientific studies back up this sentiment and found that prenatal massage can reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscle aches and joint pains, and improve labor outcomes and newborn health. Here Dr. Sarah Sponaugle of our South Tampa gym and wellness studio takes a closer look at the many benefits of prenatal massage.
Swollen ankles and a belly getting heavier by the day…Reduced swelling is a major benefit to prenatal massage. Edema is the swelling of joints during pregnancy, often caused by reduced circulation and increased pressure on the major blood vessels by the uterus.
Pregnancy massage therapy stimulates soft tissues and reduces the collection of fluids in swollen joints.
Hormone levels associated with relaxation and stress are significantly altered when massage therapy is introduced to a woman’s prenatal care routine.
Levels of bad hormones (norepinephrine and cortisol, a.k.a stress hormones) were reduced while levels of good hormones (dopamine and serotonin) levels were increased. These changes in hormone levels have been proven to improve moods, lower stress, improve cardiovascular health, reduce labor and delivery complications, and reduce newborn complications, such as low birth weight.
One of the more common aches during pregnancy is sciatic nerve pain. This typically occurs in late pregnancy as the heavy uterus rests on muscles of the lower back and pelvic floor. The pressure of the uterus spreads tension to the muscles of the upper and lower leg, causing them to swell. In turn, putting pressure on nearby nerves.
Massage therapy releases tension of these muscles to ease the pain of the inflamed nerves.
Prenatal massage therapy has several benefits for both mom and her future child. Studies have shown massage helps increase chances for a shorter less painful labor. Plus, these babies tend to have higher Neonatal Behavioral Assessment scores. Those who add this as part of their prenatal care also showed less likelihood of premature birth.
Additionally, these studies indicated when a woman is depressed during pregnancy. Massage can help reduce depression (thanks, hormone regulation) by the time her baby is born. These moms were more likely to have reduced depression and cortisol levels postpartum.
Prenatal massage therapy has several benefits. Reduce swelling, improve and regulate your pregnancy hormones, and relieve lower back and sciatic nerve pain. Including massage therapy as part of your prenatal care plan, you can even improve labor outcomes and newborn health. We recommend at least receiving a session at least once a month.
Choose Driven Fit + Sponaugle Wellness Studio in Tampa, Florida for prenatal massage therapy. Our licensed professional massage therapist has received training beyond the national standards for prenatal massage. Make an appointment with the best massage therapists in South Tampa!