The aches and pains that develop throughout pregnancy cause pretty consistent discomfort. You’re growing a new life, and that’s an amazing, beautiful experience — even if it doesn’t feel like it all the time. Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to live with the discomfort. Massage therapy is a great option to help you relax any time you need it. Even better, massage is perfectly safe during and after pregnancy, and some massage therapists take the time to learn pregnancy-specific massage techniques.

Pregnancy Massage

There is no one specific style of massage that was designed for pregnant women. Instead, prenatal massage is inclusive of multiple different massage styles including Swedish, deep-tissue, and shiatsu. A massage therapist with training in pregnancy massage will learn things like which areas of the body will need extra attention throughout a pregnancy and how to provide support for the body. The primary goal is the same as with any other massage: to reduce tension and relax muscles throughout the body. On top of that, there are some additional benefits to regular appointments with a massage therapist throughout your pregnancy. However, as with anything impacting your health, be sure to consult your physician.

Benefits of Prenatal Massage

Back Pain Relief

As we mentioned above, pregnancy massage is about more than just relaxation. There are extra benefits that can help you handle the discomfort that comes with pregnancy. One of the primary reasons many women seek out massage therapy during pregnancy is because it can help provide relief for back and leg pain. Specifically, pregnancy puts a lot of strain on the low back, and nerve pain is not uncommon. Massage therapy helps relax the tight muscles pressing against the spine to provide relief.

Swelling Help

Massage can also help reduce swelling. Massage therapy helps stimulate blood circulation, and the gentle pressure works to help flush excess fluids that may have collected, especially in the legs and feet. This can further help reduce joint pain and improve range of motion.

Anxiety/Tension Relief

Yes, massage helps reduce tension and relax the body. That’s the main idea. During pregnancy, this is particularly important because relaxing can help reduce stress hormones in the body. This can help with feelings of anxiety or depression both during and after pregnancy. The combination of physical and mental relaxation can also help reduce or entirely get rid of tension headaches. And, on top of all that, the reduced tension can also help encourage better, deeper sleep.

Every body and every pregnancy is different, so it’s important to consult your prenatal care provider before scheduling a prenatal massage. Once your doctor gives you the all clear, massage therapy is a great way to naturally enjoy relief from the aches and pains that pop up throughout pregnancy. Massage can even be used to help reduce back pain and muscle tension during labor, so it may be beneficial to have your spouse or partner learn some massage techniques.

If you’d like to learn more, contact the massage therapist team at Core Chiropractic + Wellness in Bakersfield, or schedule a pregnancy massage to experience the benefits for yourself.