Massage: It Does a Mama Good!

May 1st, 2009

I was on one of my new favorite social sites, Baby Bump Fitness when I read this post. Anna, a massage therapist originally from Canada and now living in Hong Kong, wrote clearly and succinctly about the benefits of massage before, during and after giving birth. “Massage can be used for relaxation, but also to work out those muscles that may get tight while your body goes through the many changes during pregnancy,” Anna says. “It can also keep those muscles supple for labor and delivery.” Like many massage therapist, Anna has chosen to specialize and has advanced training in pre and post natal massage. She knows of what she speaks.

So why should expectant mothers incorporate massage into their prenatal care? Pregnant women go through a complete metamorphosis as they prepare to give birth. The uterus expands to accommodate the growing fetus. The tendons and ligaments of the hips and pelvis stretch to support the growing uterus. A pregnant woman’s entire center of gravity shifts as she endeavors to support the extra weight and girth in front of her, resulting in added stress on the lumbar spine. As I experienced, the ribs can expand to allow for more room as the top of the uterus rises higher in the abdominal cavity. My foot bones spread in an effort to better support me and give me a more stable foundation. (I now wear a size larger shoe than before I became pregnant.) I could go on but you get the picture. The body’s natural instinct is to stay in alignment, but with all of the changes of pregnancy, it fights a losing battle. We women experience this as the “common aches and pains of pregnancy.”

istock_000004370555medium2Massage is an effective combatant of the common aches of pregnancy. It not only feels good, but it is good. A good massage stimulates circulation of both the blood and lymphatics so that more nutrients are delivered via the blood and more waste is removed via the lymphatic system. Massage relieves muscle tension and and can relieve connective tissue that has become over stretched . It helps a pregnant woman relax and, if even just for the duration of the massage, to fully rest.

For women on bed rest, Massage is even more important. Because many women are instructed to lay on their left sides, imagine the stress place on that one side? A good massage therapist who is trained in prenatal massage can skillfully position a woman so that she can not only comply with her physicians instructions but also receive relief from developing aches and soreness.

If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend you have a prenatal massage. Many Massage therapists will come to your home which is an added benefit if you are on bed rest. You’re doing something great for your baby by staying on bed rest. Now do something great for yourself and have a massage. You won’t regret it!

4 responses to “Massage: It Does a Mama Good!”

  1. Hi, good post. I have been thinking about this issue,so thanks for posting. I’ll certainly be subscribing to your site.

  2. Hi, nice post. I have been pondering this topic,so thanks for sharing. I will definitely be coming back to your site. Keep up the good work

  3. Jacqueline says:

    Darlene, great post and information. Feel free to start a Mom’s on Bedrest group at the babybump social netowrk.

    Jacqueline

  4. […] article “Massage: It Does a Mama Good”, posted on the site Mamas on Bed Rest & Beyond, is a wonderful read for any expectant mom […]

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