Prenatal Massage during Pregnancy

By (embryologist) and (fertility counselor).
Last Update: 10/22/2015

While pregnant, apart from standing more weight, women see how the volume of both hips and belly increases. All these body changes may overload muscles and joints, which produces a rise in the stress that women have to endure. Massages for pregnant women are a good way to relieve it.

Professional pregnancy massages are used as a body therapy to relieve tiredness. There are several videos and articles on the Internet that show how to do them correctly. However, there are more and more massage, physiotherapy and birth centres, which count with people specialised in massages for pregnant women.

Provided below is an index with the 3 points we are going to expand on in this article.

Traditional massage

In countries such as India or Japan, the massage is a vital component in midwifery practice. It’s applied to prepare both the mother and the baby for childbirth and to relieve the effort of bearing a child. Thanks to prenantal massages, endorphins, the hormones responsible for pleasure, are released, hence relieving the discomfort.

For instance in India, prenatal massages are highly recommended for pregnant women because, apart from being helpful, they are also beneficial for the baby. Massages increase the blood supply, thus raising the levels of oxygen and nutrients that the baby receives, due to the fact the there is more irrigation in the placenta.

Benefits of pregnancy massages

Generally, pregnancy massages should be carried out during the second and third trimester of pregnancy. Thus, they are not advisable during the first trimester due to the hormonal changes that women experience. It should be clear that the gynecologist should be consulted prior to the performance of any pregnancy massage, since it is not recommended when there is high risk for miscarriage, complications affecting the placenta, diabetes...

Some benefits of the prenatal massage are:

  • They help women relax and relieve stress.
  • Massages increase the blood supply, thus improving the irrigation to the placenta.
  • They relieve the pressure on the back, neck, and joints caused by the extra weight of the baby.
  • They help prevent cramps, muscle tension, stiffness, and pinched nerves.
  • They cleanse body toxins, thus reducing fluid retention.
  • They stimulate lymphatic glands, stabilizing hormonal levels.
  • Massages reduce the varicose veins and prevent the stretch marks formation.

The duration of the massage must be around 30 and 60 minutes. Women usually lay on their side and use pillows to support the belly, striving to achieve the maximum relaxation possible. Usually, women are recommended to receive prenantal massages regularly once a week during the second trimester and twice or more times a week during the second trimester.

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 Cristina Mestre Ferrer
Cristina Mestre Ferrer
B.Sc., M.Sc.
Bachelor's Degree in Biological Sciences, Genetics & Human Reproduction from the University of Valencia (UV). Master's Degree in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the UV and the Valencian Infertility Institute (IVI). Embryologist at IVI Barcelona. More information about Cristina Mestre Ferrer
Adapted into english by:
 Sandra Fernández
Sandra Fernández
B.A., M.A.
Fertility Counselor
Bachelor of Arts in Translation and Interpreting (English, Spanish, Catalan, German) from the University of Valencia (UV) and Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton Campus (Edinburgh, UK). Postgraduate Course in Legal Translation from the University of Valencia. Specialist in Medical Translation, with several years of experience in the field of Assisted Reproduction. More information about Sandra Fernández

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