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4 Benefits of Pregnancy Massage

4 Benefits of Pregnancy Massage

The nine months leading up to your child's birth can be the most exhilarating time of your life. As each month passes, your baby grows a little more, and you anticipate all those benchmarks along the way – hearing your baby’s heartbeat for the first time or that sonogram photo you can’t wait to show to your mom.

Like most things in life, there’s a flipside that includes hormonal changes, weight gain, morning sickness, swollen ankles, sleepless nights, and aching backs. Fortunately, Brian Murphy, DC, MS, and the specialists at Stamford Spine in Stamford, Connecticut, offer pregnancy massage to address common pregnancy discomforts while also contributing to your overall wellness.

Optimal spine alignment and pregnancy

To understand how massage can help during pregnancy, let’s set the stage by exploring the critical role a healthy spine plays in your overall health. Initially, when you think about your spine, you may simply relate it to providing structure and support to your body. While that’s true, it’s so much more.

 When it comes to your overall health, optimal spinal alignment plays a crucial role in the healthy operation of nearly every function throughout your body. Essentially, the spine acts like a superhighway using 31 pairs of nerves that wind through openings of 33 vertebrae that link your brain with your spinal cord. 

When your spine is healthy and in balance, your internal organs (that control things like your breathing and digestion) and your body chemistry (that affects your mood, metabolism, and growth) can all operate optimally. 

 During pregnancy, hormonal changes and weight gain cause natural changes in your muscles, joints, and center of gravity, wreaking havoc on optimal spine alignment and posture. Remarkably, massage is a drug-free treatment option which can do the following: 

1. Address back pain

While all pregnancies are different, chances are you’ll battle back pain at some time during your pregnancy. The chief culprits are hormones and weight gain that throw off your center of gravity.

The hormones relaxin and progesterone loosen your ligaments and joints, particularly in the pelvic area. In the long run, these changes prepare your body for your growing baby and will later help in labor and delivery. As the months go by and your uterus becomes heavier, your center of gravity changes, tipping your lower spine forward and creating strain on your back muscles. 

2. Mitigate sciatica symptoms

Not surprisingly, the same scenario that contributes to back pain during pregnancy can trigger sciatica or exacerbate your sciatica if you have the condition. 

In the case of sciatica, while your baby grows and your uterus gets bigger and heavier, the increased weight triggers a more dramatic curve in your spine, leading to spinal compression, increasing the likelihood of pinching your sciatic nerve.

3. Reduce swelling

Extra fluid in the body and pressure on the growing uterus cause swelling, medically called edema, in the ankles and feet. Massage stimulates soft tissues to reduce the collection of fluids and reduce swelling. This also improves the removal of tissue waste from the body’s lymph system.

4. Reduce birthing pain and complications

Decreased cortisol levels from pregnancy massage have been linked to a reduced risk of premature birth and low birth. 

In a study of labor pain, women who received massage therapy experienced significantly less pain, and their labors were, on average, three hours shorter with less need for medication.

Pregnancy massage can also help relieve insomnia and reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.

If you’re pregnant and want to learn more about the benefits of massage care during pregnancy, call our Stamford, Connecticut, office today or book a consultation online.

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