Women have been giving birth since the very beginning of time. A womans body was designed to carry children and to endure the painful stages of labor. A pregnant womans body will release hormones specifically to allow her ligaments to soften and for her to become more flexible, making room for the growing baby and for the birth. All women have the power and the capability to allow this to happen naturally. Whether you are planning to have a medicated birth or to do it naturally, Pregnancy Massage can prepare your body for the marathon event getting ready to take place and to aid in returning to a pre-pregnancy shape. As women, we need to prepare ourselves for the physical and emotional parts of birth.
Touch is vital to the mothers physical and emotional well-being as she adapts to her new body image. Regardless of the individual circumstances, a pregnant womans body is challenged, changed and stressed in many ways. Massage gives special attention to the mother-to-be, which, in turn, nurtures the new life that grows within her. Massage during pregnancy helps to do the following:
Provide emotional support and nurturing touch;
Relieve stress on weight-bearing joints (ankles, low back, pelvis);
Alleviate neck and back pain caused by muscle imbalance and weakness;
Assist in maintaining proper posture;
Prepare the birthing muscles used during childbirth; and
Reduce sciatic pain and calf cramps.
In the postpartum period, the new mother suffers from fatigue, soreness from overused birthing muscles, and is in need of attention and pampering. Massage will enhance not only the physical but psychological recuperation process. Postpartum massage can do the following:
Aid in returning the body to its pre-pregnancy state;
Assist the new mother in restoring the abdominal muscle wall;
Realign the body to reflect non-pregnant weight distribution;
Aid in recovering of a post-caesarian section; and
Provide a source in emotional support.
Massage during labor
Some benefits of labor massage include the following:
Relieves low back pain (for back labor);
Relaxation (which can speed up labor);
Promotes focus during early contractions;
Can shorten labor stages;
Can speed up sluggish labor;
Can lessen the need for drugs and/or epidurals; and
Helps laboring women to endure hard contraction.
Pregnancy massage for the prenatal, labor and postpartum mother is a wonderful therapy that supports both mom and baby. Because each pregnancy is different, pregnant women are encouraged to check with their doctors before receiving any form of pregnancy massage. Make sure your therapist is licensed and certified in Prenatal Massage. It is always a good idea to make sure your therapist is also a member of a professional massage organization as well.
For more information, contact Angela Green, LMT & Certified Prenatal Massage Therapist, at (815) 289-9795, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. She is a graduate of Kishwaukee Community Colleges Therapeutic Massage Program and recently obtained certification in Prenatal Massage as well as training for postpartum & labor. She is a member of ABMP.
From the July 13-19, 2005, issue