The Benefits of Pregnancy Massage


Massages are not only relaxing and pampering. Massage decreases symptoms of pregnancy and decreases the pain and length of labor.

 

2 Common myths and preconceptions of pregnancy and massage:
 

1. Massage during 1st trimester causes miscarriages

*Reality: Only extremely deep and vigorous lower abdominal massage could possibly cause a miscarriage. If a woman experiences a miscarriage after a massage, it is not the massage that is the cause. 

2. Massaging the feet and ankles will cause a pregnant woman to go into labor.

*Reality: There ARE acupressure and reflexology points on the feet and ankles that are contraindicated (should avoid stimulating). However it takes prolonged specific pressure directly on those points to activate them.  A general foot and ankle massage does not do this and is safe to perform. 

Benefits of Prenatal and Post-Partum Massage: 

Prenatal 

  • Helps mother cope with emotional and physiological changes in her body
  • Reduces morning sickness 
  • Relieves headaches 
  • Reduces insomnia and fatigue, promotes deeper and better sleep 
  • Reduces musculoskeletal pain and postural imbalances 
  • Reduces sciatic paining hips, low back, and legs 
  • Relieves cramps, spasm, and myofascial pain 
  • Improved flexibility, releases tight muscles 
  • Promotes blood and lymph circulation, reducing toxins in system
  • Reduces edema (swelling) in hands, feet, face, and ankles 
  • Reduces blood pressure due to improved circulation 
  • Reduces varicose vein development and pain 
  • Helps maintain efficient breathing patterns 
  • Promotes secretion of hormones that are beneficial to mother and fetus
  • Helps prepare mother for labor 
  • Release endorphins which helps with pain management 
  • Reduces stress, anxiety, depression, and emotional swings 
  • Increases mothering instincts 

Post-Partum 

  • Speeds up physiological recovery
  • Helps balance physical and emotional challenges of motherhood 
  • Reduces post-partum depression 
  • Lightens stretch marks 
  • Relieves stress
  • Reduces fluid retention 
  • Exfoliates skin 
  • Improves sleep 
  • Boosts milk production 
  • Improves circulation 
  • Improves tone and flexibility of muscles and stretched nerves 
  • Helps reposition the pelvis 
  • Relaxation!

Benefits for Baby

  • Positivity affects health 
  • Helps mother and baby bond
  • Releases happy hormones 
  • Improves outcome of labor
  • Less complications 
  • Lowes rate of premature labor
  • Helps facilitate natural childbirth (less interventions)
  • Can make labor shorter, easier, and less painful 

*If at any time during massage you experience any discomfort, please tell the therapist immediately


This is an excerpt from my  client Savanna’s pregnancy massage experience. [You can read more here]



Holistic Health: More Energy While Pregnant and Breastfeeding

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I wrote this article in response to a question I was asked by a woman in Denmark.

She is currently nursing and has found out she is pregnant again. Now she has hardly any energy and she wanted to know what would help.

What I researched were things that will help you have more energy and also you’ll produce enough milk for breastfeeding.

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•Go for walks with the baby

•Try to rest as much as you possibly can (helps milk production)

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•Eat every 3 hours

•You need a LOT of extra calories (at LEAST 500 extra- aim for 800)

•Try to have 4 servings of high-quality (organic) protein (80+ grams)

•6 servings of calcium

Suppliments:
•folic acid

•30 mg iron

•zinc

•vitamin k (in leafy green veggies),

•probiotics

Add coconut oil to your life in every way you can think of- cooking, in smoothies, on your skin (also, get a lot of massage)
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From an Ayurvedic perspective, you need to have more kapha in your life (food and environment):

((think warm and oily instead of cold and dry))

•Avoid cold drinks

•No caffeine (focus on getting energy from protein)

•No processed foods or junk foods

•Avoid soy

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Eat for energy
•Whole grains, brown rice, lentils, cooked veggies, Avocado, carrots, Leafy greens (spinach, kale)

•fruit (blueberries are great), melons will keep you hydrated

•Greek yogurt with walnuts, warm cereal (add blackstrap molasses to sweeten and add iron)

•eggs (Make a bunch of hardboiled eggs and have one or two for breakfast), Salmon, lean beef (organic)

•black beans & kidney beans (cooked with black pepper, cumin, &fennel to avoid bloating)

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Drink:
•3-4 cups of warm milk with honey every day

•Lots of hot water: about 13 glasses (pee should never get dark)

•Tea with Red raspberry, Peppermint, &Nettle

•Almond milk

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Links

More herbs for breastfeeding.

An acupressure point that can help breastfeeding.

•A pretty cool article about postpartum you might find helpful.

•A holistic mom website you might be interested in.

I hope all of this helps :)
Let me know if you have any questions!!
Joy

Joy Boardman

Massage Therapist and Collage Art Therapist

Planet Joy: Otherworldly Massages for Women, Planet-Friendly Collages for Everyone

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