The goals of a prenatal massage are the same as a regular massage – to relax tense muscles, improve circulation, offer relaxation, and to re-energize the body and mind.
Many women experience joint pain, neck and back pain, leg cramping, and sciatica during pregnancy. Massage therapy addresses the inflamed nerves by helping release tension in nearby muscles.
A prenatal massage also improves blood circulation and reduces the risk of edema, or swelling of the joints during pregnancy by stimulating soft tissue. This reduces fluid build-up around joints. Improved blood flow also helps the body’s lymphatic system work more efficiently by aiding in the removal of toxins and tissue waste.
By ridding the body of certain stress hormones, a prenatal massage can reduce anxiety and improve an expecting mother’s overall mood. Other benefits include the alleviation of headaches, reduced instances of insomnia, decreased levels of depression, and even improved labor outcomes.
When choosing a massage therapist, be sure to pick one who is certified in prenatal massage. Certified Prenatal Massage Therapists are trained to provide relief to known sore spots and also know to avoid applying pressure to very sensitive pressure points. They know the appropriate techniques to use and positions to recommend and may even have a specially designed massage table for pregnant women.
A prenatal massage may not be for everyone. Women with certain conditions, such as preeclampsia, pregnancy induced hypertension or with a history of pre-term labor should not receive a prenatal massage. All women should consult with their prenatal care provider before scheduling a massage.
If you have questions about prenatal massage or would like to schedule an appointment with an OB/GYN at Jamaica Hospital’s Women’s Health Center, please call 718-291-3276.
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All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.