Getting a prenatal massage can be extremely beneficial to your physiological, psychological and emotional health throughout pregnancy. But it's important to work with a practitioner whom you feel comfortable with, trust, and someone who is well-trained in giving a prenatal massage.
I recommend receiving consistent massages throughout your pregnancy. Try scheduling a massage once every two weeks up to your third trimester and every week afterwards.
1. Enhances circulation of blood
Massage enhances circulation, which provides more oxygen and nutrients both to mother and baby. Increased immunity also occurs through stimulation of the lymphatic system, which also helps to remove toxins.
2. Calms nervous system
Through promotion of the parasympathetic system, both mother and baby are in a relaxation response through release of endorphins.
When we are in parasympathetic mode, we are able to sleep better, our digestion is enhanced, we no longer have stress hormones released, thus our immune system is at its optimum. A peaceful and calm mama is a peaceful and calm baby.
3. Alleviation of stress on our weight-bearing joints & musculo-fascial structures
As baby gets bigger and bigger, more stress is placed upon our hip, entire back, chest, shoulders, legs, feet and neck everyday. Upon studying Ayurvedic massage in India, my instructor called massage, “Lazy man’s [or in this case, woman's] yoga.”
4. Stabilization of hormones
There is an increase in hormones during pregnancy, which also causes our moods to fluctuate. Massage can stabilize our hormones and help with depression and anxiety.