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As you pregnancy progresses, you may start to feel some aches and pains and this is when the benefits of a regular pregnancy massage to make you feel good are really felt.
When you are carrying a baby, your center of gravity changes and this puts a lot of strain on the back, the neck, the abdominal muscles and the shoulders. Pregnancy also relaxes your ligaments making your pelvic joints less stable. It changes your posture and pulls your pelvis forward. It is no wonder that with all these changes, plus the extra weight you are carrying, you start to suffer from an aching lower back.
A father-to-be often feels unsure of what he can do to help his pregnant partner during the months leading up to the birth of their baby, apart from helping out with the household chores. Learning to give his wife or partner a pregnancy massage, helps the father-to-be feel he is part of the whole process, brings the two closer together as a couple as well as helping them both to bond with their unborn baby.
These are some of the ways in which a pregnancy massage can help you by:
• Eliminating waste products through the lymphatic and circulatory systems thereby helping to combat fatigue and increase energy levels.
• Easing the load on the heart and keeping the blood pressure in check.
• Alleviating cramping, tightening, stiffness, tension and those knots in the muscles.
• Carrying away the lactic acid and other cellular waste products that can build up and cause muscle fatigue.
• Relieving depression or anxiety caused by the hormonal changes which occur in pregnancy.
• Relieving many discomforts such as backaches, stiff neck, leg cramps, headaches, edema and sore or swollen ankles or feet. Back pain is extremely common in pregnancy but it can be relieved by massage to the whole of the back area, the neck, legs and feet and by gentle stroking of the abdomen.
• Increasing the blood circulation which means greater vitality and less fatigue for you and better nourishment for your baby
• Stimulating glandular secretions thereby stabilizing hormone levels.
• Relaxing tense muscles and toning loose muscles as well as increasing muscular flexibility. Such flexibility can be most helpful during the last three months as well as during labor.
• Soothing and relaxing nervous tension so that you sleep more soundly. For women who develop problems sleeping, the soothing effects of massage can help relax and calm. Some pregnant women claim that lightly massaging the abdomen can even help to send the foetus to sleep. The medical profession agrees that a mother who is relaxed will have an easier pregnancy and possibly an easier labor as well.
Apart from the physical benefits of a pregnancy massage, there are emotional benefits too. When the father-to-be learns to give a pregnancy massage, he is touching his wife or partner’s emotions and state of mind. It is an expression of love and caring with the additional advantage of bringing two people closer together.