Prenatal & Postnatal Massage Therapy
Massage Therapy for the expecting mother requires proper bolstering and positioning equipment as well as an experienced massage therapist who is aware of positioning restrictions during the various phases of pregnancy. We are fortunate to have an experienced massage therapist on staff who is certified in the treatment of prenatal and postnatal mothers.
During pregnancy, there is a significant increase in the demand on the musculoskeletal system from the excess weight and altered center of gravity. This can often lead to low back pain among other muscular stresses and strains. Prenatal massage therapy allows for recovery of the musculoskeletal system during this time of high demand on the body and also is associated with decreased labor pain.
There is a postnatal recovery period where the new mother must recover from the end of pregnancy through delivery. Massage therapy has been clinically proven to relieve postnatal pain and stress, which facilitates a speedy recovery of strength and flexibility.
Here is the abstract from a recent study:
“Massage therapy has been demonstrated to be effective during pregnancy. Women who received massage therapy reported decreased depression, anxiety, and leg and back pain. Cortisol levels decreased and, in turn, excessive fetal activity decreased, and the rate of prematurity was lower in the massage group. In a study of labor pain, women who received massage therapy experienced significantly less pain, and their labors were on average 3 h shorter with less need for medication. An underlying mechanism we have been exploring is that these effects are mediated by increased vagal activity. This likely occurs by the stimulation of pressure receptors that are innervated by vagal afferent fibers, which ultimately project to the limbic system, including hypothalamic structures involved in autonomic nervous system regulation and cortisol secretion.”
– Field T. Expert Rev Obstet Gynecol. 2010 Mar;5(2):177-181.