Prenatal massage... it’s good for you, and baby, too! During your pregnancy, there will be times when you’ll feel completely exhausted and run-down. Then there may be times when you feel wild surges of emotion, and let’s face it — feel downright unstable. (But, the same is said about fighter jets, and look how tough those are, right?) The fact is, you are strong and your body is going through a whole lot of minute-by-minute changes in terms of hormones, energy usage, and many other processes essential to your baby’s development. It takes a lot of energy and work to create another person. In fact, all these hormonal changes you are experiencing are part of your baby’s growth, and therefore a good thing. But, when these changes lead to excess stress, pain, sleep issues, and/or poor blood circulation, that’s when you should talk to your obstetrician and look into prenatal massage treatments.
Years of research have shown that prenatal and postnatal massages aren’t only about enhancing the comfort and happiness of the mother, but there are numerous developmental benefits passed down to the baby! Trained in the art and science of prenatal massage, Calgary mothers-to-be have a great option in Vantage Integrative Health & Wellness. We invite you to schedule a visit, or read on to learn all about the exciting benefits of getting a prenatal massage.
Some of the top reasons expectant mothers should visit us for a prenatal massage include:
Mood regulation Like most types of massage, prenatal massage helps to release the brain’s “happy chemicals”, namely dopamine, serotonin, endorphins, and oxytocin
Lessened nerve pain Even sciatic nerve pain can be greatly reduced by the techniques used by our massage therapists!
Better sleep By boosting your dopamine and endorphins, patients report greatly enhanced sleep, which is good for you and baby.
Boosted energy Through improved circulation, pain reduction, and enhanced regulation of hormones, you’ll have more energy to charge through each day of your pregnancy.
Reduced joint swelling (and pain) We’ll help you find relief from swollen joint pain by massaging the tissues and muscles surrounding your joints.
Less stress and more relaxation These two points belong on the list, and if you read on you’ll realize why they are so important!
Proper blood circulation Proper blood circulation helps ensure proper delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the placenta. It’s important to note that your blood volume doubles while pregnant, so less pressure is applied to the skin with prenatal massages.
How Excess Stress Gets in the Way of a Baby’s Growth
When we are stressed over a huge project, finances, bills, etc., our pituitary glands nudge the adrenal glands into making something known as glucocorticoids, the most notorious being cortisol, one of the top stress hormones. What cortisol does is limit immune system functions for a time and prioritizes energy for tasks such as running away from a sabretooth tiger over long distances, or marching for days on end over the Arctic tundra, or sending off that all-important email. See what we just did there? Yes, cortisol is a one-trick pony and our bodies haven’t evolved to the point of creating stress hormones suited to our modern, not-so-fight-or-flight realities.
Lengthy periods of stress and anxiety aren’t just bad for expecting mothers, but can actually hinder the baby’s development as well. While the body is amazingly adapted toward survival, glucocorticoids (especially cortisol) divert energy away from fetal development to handle what it perceives as imminent threats, no matter if it’s the anticipation of forgetting an important task or fleeing a pride of sabretooth tigers — the body’s response is the same. (Note: stress-induced glucocorticoids shouldn’t be confused with the glucocorticoids essential to a fetus’ development; these do not cross over, and the two operate in separate, entirely different ways.)
Massage therapy has shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and in turn, greatly cut down on cortisol release. This helps expecting mothers create a healthy, nurturing environment for their developing babies.
At What Point is it Safe to Have a Prenatal Massage?
As an evidence-based form of medicine (and one of the safest), massage therapy does alter the physiology of the human body. Therefore, if you have a high-risk pregnancy, you should consult with your obstetrician before scheduling a prenatal massage. In most instances, those with high-risk pregnancies can enlist the help of a prenatal massage therapist after 12 weeks following conception.
Schedule an Appointment
At Vantage Integrative Health & Wellness, giving prenatal and postnatal massages to Calgary mothers is really the icing on the cake for what we do. It’s not often that a massage therapist has the opportunity to help improve the lives of two people (and sometimes more) at the same time. We use safe, evidence-based techniques to promote the health, happiness, and wellbeing of mother and child — schedule a prenatal massage today!
This traditional treatment technique improves circulation, digestion, relaxation, energy and reduces stress.
We offer the Traditional Chinese Medicine cupping technique, which has been used by athletes like Michael Phelps.
Browse our testimonials page to learn about the experiences of our Calgary and Chestermere patients.