Pregnancy is a time of joy and excitement, but it can also take its toll on a woman’s body. At the same time, anxiety levels are often elevated, making stress management important. Regular massage can be particularly useful to alleviate this stress, while also having a host of other benefits. Read on to discover the many and varied reasons to include massage in your pregnancy self-care plan.
It can ease lower back pain
Hormones produced during pregnancy cause the pelvic ligaments to loosen and joints to open, which in turn places stress on weight bearing joints and structures. As a result, lower back pain is a common complaint during pregnancy. By increasing blood flow to muscle groups and allowing them to work more efficiently, massage can help to alleviate pregnancy-related back pain.
And reduce fluid retention
You’ve no doubt had a pregnant friend complain about their swollen ankles, or experienced it yourself. This is due to the fact a woman’s blood volume can increase as much as 40-60% during pregnancy, placing an additional load on the lymphatic system and increasing fluid retention.
Stimulating the soft tissue during massage will help to reduce the collection of fluid and assist the lymphatic system to effectively remove fluid. Hence reducing any swelling.
Massage can relieve nerve pain & sciatica
As the baby grows, some women may experience sciatica – characterised by sharp pain from the lower back down the back of the thigh and lower limb to the foot. Releasing the surrounding muscles and massaging the glutes and lower limbs can alleviate the pressure caused by the compression of the sciatic nerve.
And alleviate carpal tunnel syndrome
Found on the palm-side of your wrist, the carpel tunnel houses several tendons and nerves that directly control your hands. Unfortunately, during pregnancy a large number of women will experience carpal tunnel syndrome due to excess fluid (oedema) in the wrists. As a result, they may experience pins and needles, numbness, and stiff, painful hands. Massage assists in moving the fluid and reducing muscular tenderness.
It can help with migraine & headache management
Hormonal changes during pregnancy can contribute to more frequent and intense migraines or headaches. By boosting circulation and reducing tension, massage can help relieve your pain.
It’s also very relaxing!
Not only is massage very relaxing, it is known to promote a good night’s sleep. Magic words for any mum-to-be!