Massage during pregnancy has gained a lot of popularity within the recent years. Originally, it tended to be limited to groups of women who favored alternative therapies. But now it is seen as a valid and useful tool to reduce general discomfort.
Expecting a baby is a joyful time, but it can also place a great strain on the women’s body, both physically and mentally. Several research studies suggest that pregnancy massage may help to
• Encourage relaxation and reduce anxiety
• Reduce high blood pressure and stretch marks
• Help alleviate muscle and joint pain
• Improve breathing, digestion and sleep
• Improve mom and baby’s health by reducing the negative impacts of stress such as gestational hypertension, prematurity and low birth weight
• Help mom feel more at ease and in touch with herself and her baby
• Contribute to easier, shorter labors
• And it feels so good!
Further research, shows that pregnant women massaged twice weekly for 5 weeks experienced less anxiety, leg and back pain. They reported better sleep and improved moods, and their labors had fewer complications, including less premature births. Studies also show that when women received nurturing touch during later pregnancy they touch their babies more frequently and lovingly. During labor the presence of a doula, a woman providing physical and emotional support, including extensive touching and massage, reduces the length of labor and number of complications, interventions, medications, and Cesareans.