- Karen Stoner, LMT
Massage Tips and Trivia: Massage while pregnant can help with both pregnancy and delivery
"Receiving massage while pregnant can help a woman have a calmer, less painful pregnancy and may assist in an easier delivery."
Being pregnant hurts. There is just no sugarcoating it. Of course, some women have absolutely no issues and breeze through 40 weeks without any major issues, while others hurt, ache, and struggle the whole time. There is no "standard experience" with pregnancy. However even if the aches and pains of being pregnant aren't something that derails life, there is a lot going on the the body during that time. Changes to the muscles, skeleton, and the rest of the body's systems all happen every day. Muscles in the core stretch as the belly expands, making room for the growing baby. The skeleton changes shape as the hips tilt and carry the extra weight of the belly, and the neck and shoulders are also affected as the lower body shifts and changes. Plus, things that don't even seem to be related to pregnancy can pop up such as carpal tunnel symptoms, sore feet, and more.
That all being said, the physical toll on the body isn't the only thing. Moms-to-be have a ton of stuff going on mentally and emotionally as well. Moms are constantly worried about the health of the baby, worried about the delivery, possibly concerned about the effect of the new baby on other children or family members, everybody's health, her job, and so much more. And on top of that, her doctor is probably also telling her to reduce her stress and take it easy!
A massage can help with many of these issues. Massage can help with the physical stress by easing muscle tension and helping with the strains put on the skeleton. It can give mom a rest and a chance to relieve some stress by giving her a little bit of peace and quiet and relaxation. Plus, if her body and mind are in good shape, it may also contribute greatly to her delivery going smoothly as well.
As long as there are no high-risk conditions or issues that doctors are watching, massage therapy during any trimester of pregnancy is perfectly safe. It is best to look for a therapist that specializes in pregnancy massage to make sure that mom-to-be gets a massage that best helps her specific needs and conditions.