Pregnancy Massage – what are the benefits?

It is now well known that massage therapy during pregnancy can decrease symptoms of depression, reduce anxiety, relieves muscle aches and joint pains, and helps with labour and new-born health.

Massage treatment techniques used are the same as Swedish massage (which aims to relax muscle tension and improve lymphatic and blood circulation). It alleviates many discomforts caused by the hormonal changes taking place during pregnancy such as.


Recent studies have shown that hormone levels are significantly altered trough massage when they have two per week. Even just after five weeks.  The massage reduce the stress hormones cortisol and norepinephrine and increase the depression fighting hormones serotonin and dopamine. Therefore, both the baby and the mother, are more able to cope with the stress of birth.



The enlargement of the uterus causes a compression of major blood and lymphatic vessels, this cause a reduction in the correct circulation of the two fluids creating an edema (usually in the lower legs and/or ankles). Massage aid the circulation and not only reduce the swelling, also helps with the removal of waste material through the lymphatic system.                                                               



As the uterus increased considerably in size, it presses against the various nerves situated in the pelvic area, including the sciatic nerve. Also, the extra weight carried tires the muscles of the same area. Massage helps to relax the muscles reducing the pressure the cause on the nerves. 

As you can see form the above, pregnancy massage helps to reduce anxiety, back pain, swelling, joint pain, tension in muscles and headaches, it also improves circulation (blood and lymphatic) and oxygenation and, certainly, guaranties a better sleep.


It is important that the therapist is informed of any medical condition which could affect the outcome of the massage. Especially if there had been complications with previous pregnancies. In some cases doctor permission has to be given if there is history of Preeclampsia, pre-term labour, pregnancy induced hypertension or it is considered a high risk pregnancy for any other factor.

The therapist will ensure that the client positioned on her side so to avoid pressure to the uterus or the blood vessels. He/she will also be avoiding the pressure points of the wrist and ankles which could cause early labour.

Pregnancy massage is also to be avoided during the first trimester as this is the most difficult period of pregnancy.

Please inform the therapist at every visit that you are pregnant...just in case.

Prenatal Massage as part of Prenatal Care

The benefits of massage can improve overall prenatal health for many pregnant women. Along with the guidance and advice of a prenatal care provider, massage therapy can be incorporated into routine prenatal care as an emotional and physical health supplement proven to improve pregnancy outcome, and maternal health. Consult with your midwife or obstetrician before beginning any new therapeutic practice.

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