Author: Jimmy Huynh, RMT
March 30, 2023 · 6 min
As an expectant mother, you are always looking for ways to ensure a healthy pregnancy and delivery. There are many things you can do to achieve this, including eating well, staying active, and getting enough rest. But did you know that massage therapy can also help with pregnancy?
Massage therapy has been used for centuries to promote relaxation, relieve pain, and improve overall well-being. During pregnancy, it can help with many common discomforts such as back pain, joint pain, and swollen ankles. Here are some of the ways massage therapy can benefit you during pregnancy:
Pregnancy can be a stressful time, it's common to feel anxious about the upcoming changes in your life. Massage therapy can help to reduce stress and anxiety by promoting relaxation and reducing tension in the muscles. This can also help to improve your mood and increase feelings of well-being.
As your baby grows, your center of gravity shifts and your body undergoes many changes. This can lead to back pain, which is one of the most common complaints during pregnancy. Massage therapy can help to relieve back pain by reducing tension in the muscles, improving circulation, and promoting relaxation.
Pregnancy can also cause joint pain, especially in the hips, knees, and ankles. Massage therapy can help to ease joint pain by reducing inflammation, improving circulation, and promoting relaxation. This can also help to improve your mobility and reduce the risk of falls or injuries.
Massage therapy can help to improve circulation by stimulating the blood flow to the muscles and tissues. This can also help to reduce swelling in the legs and feet, which is common during pregnancy.
Headaches are a common complaint during pregnancy, and massage therapy can help to reduce their frequency and severity. By reducing tension in the neck and shoulders, massage therapy can help to alleviate headaches and promote relaxation.
Massage therapy is known for its relaxing effects, and this is especially important during pregnancy. By promoting relaxation, massage therapy can help to reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep quality, and promote overall well-being.
Massage therapy can also help to prepare the body for labor and delivery by promoting relaxation and reducing tension in the muscles. This can help to make labor and delivery more comfortable and less stressful.
Pregnancy can be an emotional time, and massage therapy can provide emotional support by promoting relaxation, reducing stress and anxiety, and improving overall well-being. This can also help to improve your mood and increase feelings of happiness and contentment.
During the first trimester, the fetus is still developing and is most vulnerable to any external factors that could potentially cause harm. Massage techniques such as deep tissue or pressure point therapy can stimulate the uterus and increase blood flow, which could potentially cause complications. Additionally, some women experience nausea and vomiting during the first trimester, and massage may exacerbate these symptoms. For these reasons, it's generally recommended that pregnant women avoid massage therapy during the first trimester and wait until after the first 12 weeks of pregnancy to receive any massage treatments .
In addition to these benefits, massage therapy can also help to improve your overall health and well-being during pregnancy. It can help to reduce the risk of complications such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and preterm labor . It can also help to improve your immune function, reduce the risk of infection, and promote healthy fetal development.
If you are considering massage therapy during pregnancy, it's important to choose a qualified and experienced massage therapist who is trained in prenatal massage. They will be able to tailor the massage to your specific needs and ensure that it is safe and effective for you and your baby.
Massage therapy can be a valuable tool for promoting health and well-being during pregnancy. It can help to reduce stress and anxiety, relieve pain, improve circulation, and prepare the body for labor and delivery. If you are pregnant and looking for ways to improve your overall health and well-being, consider adding massage therapy to your prenatal care routine.
 Johnson, T. (2021, February 7). Pregnancy body massage and contraindications. WebMD, from https://www.webmd.com/baby/pregnancy-and-massage
 Stillerman, E. (2009, May 29). Prenatal massage and pre-treatment evaluations. Massage Today, from https://www.massagetoday.com/articles/13955/Prenatal-Massage-and-Pre-Treatment-Evaluations