The way your body works and moves when you are pregnant is quite different from its regular state. You now have added weight in the front of your body due to increasing breast size and belly size. This changes your center of gravity, how you stand, how you walk and how and which muscles you use. Massage therapy can help to address many of the issues which arise during pregnancy such as low back, sacral and hip pain and tension due to belly, digestive and breathing issues due to the crowding of organs in the abdominal cavity, and upper back issues due to increasing breast size. It is also beneficial to have the time to rest, relax, be cared for and connect with your baby. This time of relaxation without sleep is good preparation and practice of a skill which can be helpful during labor and delivery (and really for postpartum and our lives as mothers). Becoming more in tune with your body, as frequently happens through receiving massage, can also help you be more comfortable and healthy during pregnancy and birth. Massage therapy also provides nurturing an positive touch at a time when medical visits and procedures are sometimes stressful or uncomfortable.
Prenatal massage has many benefits for both mother and baby. It can reduce stress, tension and anxiety, relieve muscle and joint pain, reduce swelling, strengthen the immune system, and improve digestion. Studies from the Touch Research Institute (TRI) indicate that pregnancy massage provides more than just symptom relief for the mother. The study demonstrated that prenatal massage therapy can reduce anxiety, stress, sleep problems and back pain, and result in fewer complications during delivery and fewer postnatal complications for newborns.
In my practice I use Arvigo® Therapy in my prenatal sessions. This includes teaching of self-care massage for you to do at home starting at the appropriate time in pregnancy. Arvigo® work for pregnancy supports the physical changes experienced by women during pregnancy. As the baby and uterus grow, additional strain is put on the uterine and pelvic ligaments and pelvic floor muscles. With regular massage, the uterus stays well-positioned, receives good blood supply, and grows strong and resilient. Arvigo® Therapy normalizes pelvic alignment allowing the uterus to guide itself to optimal positioning in the pelvis. This positioning encourages good positioning of baby, and facilitates labor and delivery. Arvigo® practitioners have repeatedly found that their clients experience significantly shorter and easier labors. Midwifery-based practices that have integrated Arvigo® Therapy into their care have reported positive differences in birth outcomes as evidenced by more efficient contractions and shorter labors. Arvigo® Therapy is also helpful for improving digestion and breathing issues which can occur during pregnancy.
Prenatal massage can be a wonderful addition to your healthcare during pregnancy and beyond. Massage also has many benefits during the postpartum period. Receiving massage before having baby is a wonderful time for you to establish a self-care routine for yourself. Taking good care of yourself as a mom will greatly benefit your ability to care for your family and provide an awesome example for your children of how important self-care is.
If you have any questions about prenatal massage feel free to contact me and I would be happy to chat with you!