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      Prenatal Massage: Meaning & Benefits

      Pregnancy Journey

      Prenatal Massage: Meaning & Benefits

      Updated on 3 November 2023

      As the body undergoes remarkable changes, nurturing both the baby and the mother becomes of utmost importance. A great way to do this is through a prenatal massage. Prenatal massage, with its soothing touch and multitude of benefits, is a true gift to expectant mothers. But what exactly is it? How does it differ from regular massage techniques? And what are the specific benefits it offers during this magical time?

      In this article, we delve into the meaning and incredible benefits of prenatal massage, unlocking a world of comfort, relief, and connection for both the body and the soul. So, sit back, relax, and let us guide you through the world of pre natal massage, where blissful moments and a newfound sense of connection await you.

      What is a Prenatal Massage?

      Prenatal massage is similar to a regular massage and aims to relax your tense muscles, enhance mobility and circulation, and ease sore spots. But on the other hand, a prenatal massage is customised to the requirements of pregnant women and their changing bodies.

      Carrying a child will change the centre of gravity, and this will cause a lot of stress on your neck, shoulders, and back as well as abdominal muscles. On the other hand, pregnancy will make the pelvic joints less stable. It will also change the posture, pulling the pelvis forward. And you may face an aching lower back. However, with pre natal massage, you can lower such pain.

      During the massage, a professional and experienced pre natal massage therapist will use proper massage techniques on the swollen and sore spots to offer some relief. Besides, they also know which area to avoid during the massage.

      Can Massages During Pregnancy Be Given?

      First of all, you need to consult your doctor. If you need an expert or obstetrician to care for you during the pregnancy, you can talk to the doctor about the same. As per the doctors, a prenatal massage is safe. However, women with specific risk factors should avoid this massage. Some risk factors to consider are:

      If your doctors give a green signal for this massage, you can seek a trained and certified prenatal massage therapist with years of experience.

      It is also safe to avoid pregnancy massage if you have issues like nausea or vomiting, even though some massage therapists can help you alleviate such symptoms. You should also avoid this if you are at greater risk of placental abruption.

      Benefits of a Prenatal Massage

      Pre natal massage has a lot of benefits to offer. Research or testing on a pregnant woman is avoided on ethical grounds. Most of the evidence related to prenatal massage's benefits is anecdotal. Here are some compelling benefits of this massage:

      1. Lowers Swelling

      When your hands, legs and feet begin swelling during pregnancy, it is generally caused by limited circulation. Besides, increased pressure on the blood vessels can also cause swelling. Doctors say a prenatal massage can assist in stimulating the soft tissue and moving the extra fluid. As a result, swelling will decrease, offering you the required comfort. You should talk to your doctor to know whether you can attend this therapy regularly.

      2. Lowers Your Nerve Pain

      Most women witness chronic nerve pain late in their pregnancy. During the pregnancy, the uterus will put pressure on the lower back and pelvic-floor muscles. Gradually, the pressure will begin to spread to your leg muscles. When an inflamed sciatic nerve is inflamed, you may feel sudden or severe pain shooting down the legs. Prenatal massage therapy can effectively release the tension in the muscle and this, in turn, lowers inflammation in the nerves.

      3. Good For Lower Back Pain

      Prenatal massage can also improve lower back pain by relaxing your tight muscles in the affected body parts. It effectively boosts the blood flow throughout the body, releasing tension.

      4. Lowers Anxiety

      Along with a pleasant experience, pregnancy can also create anxiety in women. After all, this is a new chapter for women, and the body will also undergo a huge change. A prenatal massage can be a good way to connect the body and learn to feel comfortable with the natural changes, thus lowering anxiety. Besides, the therapist will further help you by explaining the normal and expected changes during the pregnancy.

      5. Better Sleep

      As the pregnancy progresses, it will become harder for women to get quality sleep and they may suffer from insomina. The massage therapist will relax the nervous system by applying the right techniques and pressure, triggering your body to produce more feel-good hormones. As a result, you will feel more relaxed and sleep well throughout the night.

      How to Do a Home Prenatal Massage?

      Start a pre natal massage at home with a gentle foot rub. You can use any lotion for a good and smooth stroke. You need to rub the top part of the foot by giving gentle pressure. Then you need to go towards the ankle from the toes and around the ankle, making small circles. It will help to relax.

      Then you can go for the back rub. Ask your partner to sit by your side and use both hands to give a stroke up and down. After that, you can provide a shoulder rub with the bare hand and apply gentle pressure on one side of the neck.

      Many benefits can be witnessed through a prenatal massage. But as discussed above, this massage is not suitable for every pregnant woman. That's why it is advisable that all women should speak to their doctor before scheduling a prenatal massage.

      You may also like: Benefits of Prenatal Massage for Leg and Back Pain

      Final Thoughts

      In conclusion, prenatal massage is a highly beneficial practice for expectant mothers. It offers a range of physical and emotional benefits that can greatly enhance the overall well-being during pregnancy. From relieving muscle tension and reducing swelling to alleviating anxiety and improving sleep quality, pre natal massage provides a holistic approach to prenatal care. However, it is crucial to consult with a trained prenatal massage therapist and seek clearance from a healthcare professional before undergoing any massage therapy during pregnancy.


      1. Pachtman Shetty SL, Fogarty S. (2021). Massage During Pregnancy and Postpartum. Clin Obstet Gynecol.

      2. Fogarty S, Barnett R, Hay P. (2020). Safety and Pregnancy Massage: a Qualitative Thematic Analysis. Int J Ther Massage Bodywork.

      3. Hall HG, Cant R, Munk N, Carr B, Tremayne A, Weller C, Fogarty S, Lauche R. (2020). The effectiveness of massage for reducing pregnant women's anxiety and depression; systematic review and meta-analysis. Midwifery.

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      Written by

      Roohi Kalra

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