Carrying a baby in the womb for nine months is one of the most physically-challenging undertakings any woman can have. Aside from the mental and emotional preparations, preparing the mum’s body before giving birth and taking care of it after are crucial to help her get back in shape, ready to take on the role of nurturing a child.
Prenatal and postnatal care are so important that even other cultures have a tradition for it. The Chinese, for example, have what they call zuo yuezi—also known as “sitting the month”—where a new mum gets to have all the help she needs for her baby so she can focus solely on her healing process. Another form of self-care is through pregnancy massages, which can benefit you in different ways, as long as the massage is administered by a certified therapist from a reliable massage centre.
Why should you consider getting prenatal and postnatal massages? Read on.
It helps ease your anxiety
For mums-to-be, the anticipation of delivering a child may be scary. You worry about how much pain there would be, the baby’s health, and everything else that can go wrong. Prenatal massages are a good way to ease the tension you’re feeling and give you peace of mind even just for a while.
On the other hand, if you’re a new mum, the stress your body had to go through may have weakened you so a good rub here and there may be just what you need to release body tension from the birthing process.
It helps regulate your hormones
According to the American Pregnancy Association, a woman’s hormone levels related to relaxation and stress can change due to massage therapies. Specifically, women with regular massage therapies have a lower level of stress-related hormones and higher level of dopamine and serotonin, preventing cases of depression and moodiness.
It relieves body pain
The added weight you have to carry is surely taking a toll on your body. You may be feeling back pain from time to time, and muscle pains here and there. You may even have inflamed joints. This is true before and even after delivery. With prenatal and postnatal massages, your body’s tissues get to relax and with increased production of endorphins, the pain you’re feeling is reduced.
Massages improve blood circulation
In general, massages help in improving a person’s blood circulation by flushing out toxins and bringing oxygen-rich blood to tensed muscles. An improved blood circulation also renders added benefits such as better sleep quality which sleep-deprived pregnant women and new mums need, reduced blood pressure, and better nutrient delivery to your body that your baby can benefit from. For breastfeeding mums, improved blood circulation promotes milk production, too.
Postnatal massages may help you deal with postpartum depression
According to SingHealth, 10–15% of women experience depression after giving birth. Postnatal massage will help relax your mind after childbirth, give you better sleep quality, and allow you to deal with emotional swings better, which in turn, can help ease or prevent your tendency to experience postpartum depression.