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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Pre-Natal Massage: An Under-Utilized Form of Help For The Future Mom

Pre-natal massage is a seriously under-utilized and misunderstood modality that most pregnant women are not aware of as an excellent form of preparation for their impending motherhood. Massage therapy has been shown to have numerous benefits for pregnant women.
One of the most important benefits of pre-natal massage is its helpfulness in preparing the body for the actual act of birth. By relaxing the muscles involved in childbirth, it can help to make the process of birthing slightly less painful, and it can also help reduce the trauma of labor on the new mother’s body, especially when employed during labor. Some of the more common muscles which can be hurt by the process of labor are the quadratus lumborum, the iliopsoas, and the muscles of the pelvic floor.

Certain techniques of pre-natal massage can help to prepare the pelvic floor for the process of birth, and these techniques are used in the last trimester or pregnancy. Other techniques can be used throughout the process of pregnancy to alleviate the muscular tensions created by the baby being formed within the pregnant woman.

Some of the most useful benefits of pre-natal massage are the techniques that can be taught to the pregnant woman’s partner, as well as postural lessons and teaching helpful breathing techniques to alleviate the anxiety that can occur when the baby starts to press on the lower ribs and take up some of the space normally reserved for the mother’s lungs. Suddenly being unable to breathe fully, where you had been previously able to take a complete deep breath from the front of the body, can cause unnecessary anxiety in the new mom.

Another benefit to pre-natal massage is the stimulation of the lactation hormone, oxytocin. This hormone promotes lactation, and also helps with the birthing process, as it stimulates uterine contractions when the baby is ready to be born. Massage therapy has been shown in some studies to promote the production of this important hormone.

Of course, one of the most understood forms of massage is post-natal massage, which is sought because of the extreme amounts of tension that the new mother is experiencing from the act of birthing along with the strain of having the weight of the baby pulling on her back. However, new moms should know that some of these tensions can be prevented through regular pre-natal massage before the birth of the baby.

Pregnant women can benefit from pre-natal massage in many ways. If you are pregnant and thinking about receiving a pre-natal massage, please visit our pregnancy massage webpage by clicking here.

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