June 26, 2018

Not Just for Relaxation – 5 Benefits of Prenatal Massage

Regular prenatal massages can work wonders for your pregnancy issues, right up through delivery. Toni Fisher, LMBT, lead massage therapist with MyHealthyLife® Wellness Services at Mission Health, talks about the many pluses of prenatal massage that expecting moms can expect.

1 – Improves sleep

Prenatal massage supports the release of serotonin in the body, which increases deeper sleep. “Many mamas report sleeping better than ever after their massage, and some even report that a busy ‘kicking’ baby seemed to be calmed by the massage as well,” said Fisher.

2 – Reduces stress and anxiety

The releasing of serotonin in the body also boosts endorphins and dopamine, which promotes a sense of well-being, lowering stress and anxiety levels.

3 – Improves circulation and reduces swelling

The two go hand-in-hand. Gentle massage techniques help to increase blood flow to restricted areas, and at the same time increase lymphatic fluid flow to reduce water retention and remove metabolic waste.

4 – Reduces joint pain

Pregnancy takes a real physical toll on your body. The extra weight can cause all kinds of aches and pains (like lower back pain) that can be relieved with prenatal massage.

5 – Reduces intensity of the labor process

“Many issues – such as muscle tension, fatigue, headaches and anxiety – are often greatly reduced, if not alleviated altogether, with regular prenatal massages,” said Fisher.

What’s a prenatal massage like?

At MyHealthyLife Wellness Services, prenatal massages are performed in a warm, dimly lit room, with gentle music to support the nurturing nature of the mother’s needs. In most cases, the mother will be lying on her side.

The therapist provides bolstering and cushioning with pillows and blankets for support and comfort. Fisher emphasized that communication is key. “Adjustments are easy to make to ensure the mother’s comfort – repositioning, additional bolstering, adjusting temperature, blanketing, etc.,” said Fisher.

To receive a prenatal massage from a MyHealthyLife Wellness Services-trained massage therapist, women must be in their second trimester or beyond. High-risk pregnancies require a doctor’s release.

To schedule a prenatal massage appointment at MyHealthyLife Wellness Services, call 828-213-8250 or via One-Call Scheduling at 828-213-2222. Be sure to specify for prenatal.

To register for any Mission Health classes including breastfeeding, childbirth and parenting, visit missionhealth.org/womens.

Toni Fisher, LMBT, is lead massage therapist with MyHealthyLife Wellness Services at Mission Health.