The ubiquitous New Year’s push toward better health and wellness doesn’t stop at joining the gym or trying out prenatal yoga. Rest, relaxation and pleasure are — of course — part of the picture as well.
Like yoga, massage offers the new or expectant mother a little slice of “me time” and a much overdue deep breath. This is the ultimate in self-care and while many mothers see it as a luxury, the health benefits are so numerous that we hope it catches on as a necessity…
Benefits of Prenatal Massage:
- Reduction of edema, or swelling.
- Improvement of sciatic nerve pain, common in pregnant women.
- Reduced back pain — caused by carrying the extra weight.
- Better circulation, which will help with muscles cramps.
- Better sleep — pregnancy is often a time for insomnia!
- Reduced stress and anxiety. Most expectant mamas are at least a little bit nervous about having a baby!
Benefits of Postpartum Massage:
- Hormone regulation — particularly cortisol, the stress hormone.
- Partial treatment of postpartum mood disorders — massage also balances the hormones associated with depression (dopamine and serotonin) in addition to getting the troubled mama out of her head and into her body.
- Touch and care for Mama to restore her ability to provide constant touch and care for Baby.
- Improved breastfeeding through relaxation.
- Pain reduction following pregnancy, labor and/or C-section.
- Stress reduction — our wonderful newborns do cause worry and stress!
It is important to find a professional massage therapist SPECIFICALLY TRAINED in prenatal and/or postpartum massage.
Doula tip: This much needed “luxury” need not break the bank. There are many reasonably priced therapists who offer discounts when you buy a package of sessions. Also try Groupon for some great spa and wellness deals.