Pregnancy is a beautiful and exciting time in a woman’s life, but sometimes this transformation can cause discomfort, stress, and depletion of a woman’s body and energy. As the baby grows it can begin to demand more energy (qi) and blood than the mother can produce. When this condition occurs, various symptoms can arise, such as lower back strain, swelling or water retention, and digestive upset. If this deficient condition is left unchecked it can even lead to prolonged or delayed labor.
Through massage, the muscles can be relaxed to allow the blood to move more freely and efficiently, which leads to better circulation, decreased swelling, and increased energy. Focus on the immune system through the lymph can also help to insure the health of the mother throughout gestation.
Massage during pregnancy needs to be gentle but effective, and should only be performed by a practitioner who is skilled in the contraindications associated with each term. Often massage should not be performed at all during the first trimester. And, certain acupressure points should be avoided during particular times of the pregnancy to prevent causing untimely reactions (like pre-term contractions). At Nurture Acupuncture, we provide trained pregnancy massage in a safe and reliable environment so your health care needs can be met through each stage of your gestation. We enjoy seeing our new mothers all the way through to delivery and into postpartum care.
Is prenatal massage safe throughout the entire pregnancy?
Women can begin massage therapy at any point in their pregnancy – during the first, second, or third trimester. The massage should be performed by a licensed and qualified practitioner so no harm occurs to the baby or mother.
Does prenatal massage affect the baby?
Massage during pregnancy helps counteract the negative effects of stress and helps the baby to be healthy and happy. Babies, whose mothers have had pregnancy massage, tend to cry less, sleep through the night, and be happier and healthier. If a massage is beneficial to the mother, the baby will receive the benefits, too.
Can massage help with labor?
Relaxing prenatal massage eases labor, providing a peaceful space for baby’s entrance into this world. Expectant mothers learn effective ways to breathe and relax for childbirth and are taught techniques to ease the pain of labor. Labor-inducing techniques are utilized starting in the 37th week.
Would massage be beneficial post-partum (after birth)?
Studies have shown that massage post-partum helps to elevate mood and helps to heal the body and regain its shape. Specifically, abdominal massage helps shrink the uterus back into place and relieve subcutaneous scar tissue. It may be given as early as 24 hours after a vaginal delivery.
Research and Related Articles on Pregnancy / Tui Na Massage
Pregnant women benefit from massage therapy
Field T, Hernandez-Reif M, Hart S, Theakston H, Schanberg S, Kuhn C.
J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol. 1999 Mar; 20(1): 31-8.
Pregnancy and massage
Field T, Figueiredo B, Hernandez-Reif M, Diego M, Deeds O, Ascencio A.
J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2008 Apr; 12(2): 146-50. Epub 2007 Oct 2.