Nine Reasons why you need a massage in Pregnancy.
I’m a Houston Massage Doula, and I understand Pregnancy and Birth
I pride myself on being one of the few Massage doulas in Houston. This simply means that I specialize in pregnancy, birth and Prenatal bodywork. This gives me a unique perspective on how the physiology of a body changes in conjunction with the hormones of pregnancy, birth and postpartum.
Pregnancy massage is one of those things that is often overlooked in pregnancy, which is a shame because it is such a physically and emotionally taxing time for women and their families.
Your hormones are raging, your center of gravity has moved, organs are shifting, muscles are stretching and the family unit is preparing for this new person.
The weight of the baby is causing muscle aches and putting pressure on your joints. There is a so much stuff happening (increased blood flow, swelling, lactogenesis is beginning), and it all takes its toll on your mental health, your sleep patterns and your ability to focus on self-care; especially when you have older children.
Additionally, during labor, your body is performing a massive workout. Muscles are contracting, heart rate is changing, blood pressure is fluctuating, and some women are stressing, tensing and fighting their bodies.
That’s a lot of body changes in a short amount of time.
Of course you need a massage!
So, below, I am listing some reasons why Massage is so awesome!
1) Reduces Stress/Anxiety
Having someone gently tap, rock, smooth and use focused static pressure to soften tense muscles and “knots” is relaxing. Its quiet, dark and warm. All those things engage the parasympathetic nervous system, and that is where healing occurs.
2) Promotes Relaxation
Reducing Stress and Anxiety leads to most people falling asleep on the massage table. When I was in massage school, my instructor said that was the highest form of compliment a therapist could receive. If you feel safe and are calm enough to fall asleep, you’re doing something right! Imagine how beneficial that is for the wee one in your womb!
3) Breath Focus
Take a deep breath.
Drop your shoulders.
Breathe in again.
Loosen the tension in your arms, your hands, your fingers.
That’s how massage works on your breathing, which increases oxygen flow to the tissues that need it the most.
4) Promotes Circulation
Increased circulation is increased oxygen to your muscles and it is healing. Increased oxygen is really great for growing babies in utero. Ever notice how you take a deep breath (or yawning) just as you are settling in for a good nights sleep? That’s your body’s way of upping the oxygen in preparation for rest.
5) Promotes removal of waste products
You know how when you work out, your muscles are sore the next day? That is due to a build up of lactic acid and metabolic waste that is a by product of working your muscles in a way that tears them down to be built up stronger. pregnancy causes body systems to slow a bit as well so lymph draining and other waste removal systems can benefit from physical hands on techniques.
6) Alleviates Joint/Muscle Pain
An increased body mass (you are carrying another human inside your body!) can put strain on your muscles and joints. Also, any previous injuries can be exacerbated by pregnancy. Ouch.
7) Nurturing touch
Who doesn’t love a little bit of positive touch? It’s nice to feel loved. It’s great to feel appreciated. It’s lovely to know that someone will see you and truly be a source of non-judgemental care and affection, probably when you need it the most.
8) Builds your Relationship of Trust
If the massage therapist you are seeing for pregnancy massage is also your Doula (there are several here in Houston! Let me know if you can’t find one, I’m happy to connect you!), then seeing them regularly for massage will be awesome because you will be receiving beneficial therapeutic bodywork to prepare your for birth, while also building a personal relationship with a person that will be present for one of the most profound and intimate experiences of your life. Invest in that!
9) Encourages proper body mechanics and awareness
Lets talk logisitics to reiterate my point about Mother Nurturing being one of the best places to receive your Pregnancy massage from a legitimate Massage Doula in Houston, Texas.
I use something called a Side-Lying-Positioning-System (SLPS). It allows for better access to the areas that cause the most complaints in pregnancy, (low back, hips, sacro-uterine ligaments, ribs etc.) The SLPS is portable (Outcalls folks! Bedrest anyone?!) it is functional, and way better at maintaining proper alignment which can be hindered when only using two “tempurpedic pillows” at some other businesses. That can lead to a tilted pelvis which does not allow ample room for baby to get in a great position for birth. My favorite part? It converts into a semi-reclining state so that we can focus on ending the session with a lovely abdominal and foot massage without lying you flat on your back.
Always consult with your care provider before getting pregnancy massage. There are certain contraindications and pre-exsisitng conditions that may be exacerbated by Pregnancy Massage. However, it is generally a non-invasive gentle way to pamper yourself and show some #selflove while preparing for the transition to motherhood.
If you would like more information, or would like to book an appointment, you can schedule online, or give me a call. I love talking about this stuff!