How Massage Therapy Can Improve Your Pregnancy

As your baby grows inside you, your body goes through countless changes, from weight gain and hormonal fluctuations to muscle pain and digestive issues. Although every woman’s pregnancy story is unique and beautiful, most can agree that it would be even better if it were more comfortable.

Dr. Dana Robinson at Peninsula RSI Chiropractic Wellness Center in Redwood City, California, helps women maximize their pregnancy experience through therapeutic massage. Pregnancy massage is gentle, safe, and effective. Here’s how it can help you have the best pregnancy possible.

Makes you more comfortable throughout your pregnancy

Even if you have a complication-free pregnancy, the changes your body goes through are bound to cause some discomfort. Your body releases more of the hormone relaxin so your joints and muscles can move more easily to accommodate the baby, but it also means that your frame becomes lax and more susceptible to pain and injury.

Also, the growing girth of your baby changes your center of gravity and alters the way you walk and stand, straining your back and abdominal muscles and compressing nerves, especially your sciatic nerve. 

Massage therapy is a drug-free, natural way to relieve the pressure on sensitive nerves, reduce inflammation, and soothe sore muscles.

Decreases edema

One of the main complaints we hear from our pregnant patients is that their feet and hands swell up. This is common during pregnancy because you have an increased blood supply that’s hindered by the increasing pressure of your growing baby. Major blood vessels often struggle to transport blood efficiently, which results in puffy extremities. 

But massage therapy stimulates your muscles and soft tissues, encouraging your bodily fluids to disperse and flow more freely. Dr. Robinson also targets your lymphatic system to flush out waste.

Regulates your hormones

During pregnancy, your hormones fluctuate dramatically. While this is necessary for your baby’s development and your body’s ability to carry a child, it can also wreak havoc with your emotions. And if you are stressed, worried, or overburdened, the stress hormones — cortisol and norepinephrine — skyrocket.

Fortunately, massage is notorious for reducing these hormones, which can be harmful in large, sustained doses, and replaces them with serotonin and dopamine, the hormones that relax you and promote calm, happy feelings. Pregnancy massage is a  great way to keep anxiety and depression at bay.

Increases your circulation

We mentioned that your pregnant body has more blood in it, but it may surprise you to learn how much more. The average pregnant woman produces an average of 45% more blood volume than during her pre-pregnancy days, and some can produce 100% more than normal. 

Massage therapy eases the circulation process by stimulating healthy blood flow to your heart, uterus, and placenta.

Keeps your baby in a healthy position

As your baby and your belly grow, your posture naturally changes. You may struggle with keeping your spine in a healthy position, and like many women, you may slouch, bend, or overarch to find a comfortable stance. But your baby relies on your strong, healthy musculoskeletal system to support their growth, so posture is important.

Through massage therapy, Dr. Robinson can help you increase your muscles’ tone and flexibility, which should make carrying your baby easier and more comfortable, and keep the baby in an optimal fetal position that helps you both. 

Is pregnancy massage right for you?

Pregnancy massage is safe and effective for most women, but if you have questions or concerns, talk to Dr. Robinson. She is passionate about total health and wellness and takes every aspect of your medical history and current condition into consideration before recommending massage therapy or any treatment. She even offers safe chiropractic treatments during your pregnancy to address misalignments. To learn more or schedule an appointment, call us at 650-599-9868 or use our online tool to request a consultation. It could make all the difference in your pregnancy story.

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