massage during pregnancy

The Pros and Cons of Pregnancy Massage

Pregnancy can certainly be stressful, especially in the last trimester when many women feel stressed and awkward. Happily anticipating the baby has nothing to do with needing assistance to get off the couch. Some women stay active throughout their pregnancies, but others become far less active than they normally would be. While most pregnant women would probably enjoy and benefit from a pregnancy massage, the massage is particularly valuable during the last trimester and for less active pregnant women.

The Pros or Why A Pregnancy Massage Is Good For You

Improved Hormone Levels

Over the past 10 years, studies have shown that prenatal massage therapy significantly alters the hormone levels associated with relaxation and stress. This regulates moods and improves cardiovascular health. In only five weeks of bi-weekly massages, two of the hormones associated with stress (norepinephrine and cortisol) were reduced. Conversely, dopamine and serotonin levels were increased, making the women feel happier; low levels of these hormones are associated with depression.

These improved hormone levels resulted in fewer birth complications and problems with the babies, such as low birth weight. The evidence strongly indicates that there are benefits for both mothers and babies with regular prenatal care that includes therapeutic massage.

Reduced Swelling of the Joints (Edema)

During pregnancy, the heavy uterus puts pressure on major blood vessels, causing reduced circulation. This results in edema, or swollen joints. Massage helps to reduce the fluids that collected in the joints by stimulating the soft tissues. In addition, the lymph system is improved and is better able to perform its function of removing waste tissue.

Reduced Sciatic Nerve Pain

During late pregnancy, the uterus sits on muscles at the base of the pelvis and lower back. This pressure ultimately results in a painful lower back and pain shooting down the leg. Therapeutic massage during pregnancy helps to release muscle tension and can significantly reduce the pain.

The Cons or When a Woman should be Cautious about Pregnancy Massage

If there are any signs of a high risk pregnancy or other medical issues, a woman should not consider pregnancy massage in melbourne until it is cleared with her health care provider. Many clinics will refuse massage for a woman during the first 12 weeks of her pregnancy because of an increased risk of a miscarriage at that time.

Conditions that would contraindicate pregnancy massage include the following:

Pregnancy induced hypertension;

Any previous premature births or a recent birth;


Severe swelling, sudden and severe headaches or high blood pressure.

Ainslie Bryce received her Advanced Diploma of Myotherapy in 2000. Since then, she has been dedicating herself to working as a myotherapist in Melbourne, assisting people in moving better and remaining free of pain for as long as possible. Pregnancy massage is a very specific type of massage which can benefit both mother and baby. Visit her pregnancy massage clinic, relax and do something nice for yourself.