Creating a new life is an amazing experience. There is nothing quite as awe-inspiring as looking into the eyes of a newborn for the first time. The journey towards birth, however, isn’t easy. As the pregnancy progresses, expectant moms can develop back pains due to the pressure the growing baby puts on their spine. If the expectant mother balances her weight by leaning backward, it could also lead to a backache and swollen the ankles.
The condition is exacerbated by the hormone relaxin, which loosens joints and ligaments in preparation for birth. Furthermore, sleeping becomes increasingly difficult as pregnancy advances, with moms-to-be often struggling to find a comfortable position to sleep in.
Painkillers are generally not advised due to the small but present risk of an adverse effect on the baby, but there are natural ways a woman can ease pregnancy aches and pains. Getting a massage is one of them.
Benefits of Getting a Massage During Pregnancy
Besides being a drug-free, natural method for relaxing, getting a massage while pregnant has several other benefits:
- Relief from backaches. With regular massages, a lasting reduction in back and leg pain occurs.
- Improved sleeping patterns.
- Reduced production of the stress hormones norepinephrine and cortisol. Anxiety levels are lowered as a result. This is particularly important for women with complicated pregnancies who may be facing additional stress, as well as those who are nervous about hospitals or delivery.
- Increased levels of serotonin and dopamine — neurotransmitters associated with pleasure and reward — which help the mom-to-be feel good. This sense of well-being could reduce the risk of antepartum and post-partum depression.
- Boosts the immune system. Other studies have shown that massage therapy increases an individual’s resistance to viruses. This could benefit pregnant women whose immune systems are naturally suppressed to avoid rejecting the developing baby.
Pregnancy is an exciting time in a woman’s life, but can also be very physically demanding, causing back pains, swollen ankles, and loose joints, as well as making it difficult to sleep. Painkillers aren’t recommended, but a massage is a natural way to help ease the discomfort. It has more benefits besides that, though. Pregnant women would do well to take advantage of it for their and their unborn child’s well-being.