During pregnancy, your body goes through many changes, some of which are tougher to endure than others. If you are suffering through muscle aches, joint swelling, and persistent hormonal headaches, prenatal massage may be able to help, while also aiding in stress and anxiety reduction.
What is prenatal massage?
If you’re already familiar with massage therapy, prenatal massage is very similar, with a few modifications put in place to protect you and the baby. As an example, for a typical full body massage, you are asked to lay flat on your stomach. Of course, when you are pregnant, this position is neither safe nor comfortable. Instead, you will likely lie on your side so you can relax and give the massage therapist access to your back muscles. Additionally, prenatal massage therapists must receive a specialized license and certification specific to prenatal massage before performing therapy.
Benefits of prenatal massage
Growing a baby is hard work! You deserve to relax and take the necessary steps to relieve aches and pains to help make your pregnancy a little easier. Here’s how prenatal massage can help:
- Relieve muscle and joint pain – It is very common for expecting mothers to experience muscle aches and joint pain as the pregnancy progresses. Lower back pain is especially common as your body gets used to carrying the extra weight in your stomach.
- Reduce stress and anxiety – It never hurts to take a load off and relax – especially when you’re pregnant. Massage therapy is a perfect way to wind down, slow your thoughts, and reset, all of which can help you get a better night’s sleep.
- Relieve headaches – With changing hormone levels and increasing anxiety leading up to the birth, it is not uncommon to experience headaches. Massage therapy can help relieve headaches through specific massages targeted to your shoulders, neck, and head. While this can help, it is also important that all underlying causes of headaches are first addressed, such as dehydration, malnutrition, and high stress.
- Reduce swelling – Swelling is also a very common symptom women experience during pregnancy, especially in the ankles and feet. Swelling is caused by a lack of circulation and fluid buildup. Massage can help stimulate circulation and reduce swelling.
Massage therapy at Pullman Regional Hospital
There are several massage options offered at Summit Therapy. During your pregnancy, you can schedule prenatal massages with our prenatal massage therapist any time up until your deliver your baby. During your hospital stay, you may also choose to have a complimentary massage while in labor, or right after your baby is born. Finally, once you return home and life with your newborn settles in, you may always schedule regular full body massages to help reduce stress and improve sleep.
Massages are often covered by insurance. Be sure to check with your insurance plan or contact our concierge for insurance questions at (509) 336-7466. Always check with your provider to make sure massage therapy is safe for you.