Mommy Massage: For a Healthy, Relaxed Pregnancy
During pregnancy, a woman's skeletal structure increasingly supports more weight and her organs shift to accommodate her growing baby. The journey can be uncomfortable. Linda, a nationally certified and licensed massage therapist trained in pregnancy massage says, "A massage therapist can do very specific muscle manipulation throughout a woman's pregnancy to alleviate discomfort in many areas of her body."
What the Studies SayResearchers at the Touch Research Institute (University of Miami School of Medicine) have found evidence to support the use of massage therapy in pregnant women. Massaged women reported a decrease in depressed mood, anxiety, and pain. These women also showed a more positive attitude following the first massage during labor. Massage was also associated with other benefits, including shorter labor times, shorter hospital stays, and less postpartum depression.
Betsy's StoryBetsy, a 41-year-old woman pregnant with her second child, received weekly massage therapy. "Massage has allowed me to be active and healthy all the way up to these last days before I'm due," she says. During this pregnancy, morning sickness was much less problematic than last time. Massage helps her back pain, and she sleeps better the night after a massage. She has not had leg cramps or swelling in her hands or feet. "Without massage as a regular part of this pregnancy, I would have lost my mind after the fourth month!" Betsy says. She credits pregnancy massage with quieting the voices of fear and anxiety, and relaxing her body and her spirit. "For me, massage is a very important tool in surviving pregnancy."