I often hear people ask, “Is massage safe during pregnancy?”
Yes, yes, yes!
Massage not only is safe during pregnancy, but it also has many benefits. Massage relieves muscle aches and joint pains and improves labor outcomes and newborn health, as well as regulates hormone levels and reduces swelling.
Studies done in the past 10 years have shown that hormone levels associated with relaxation and stress are significantly altered, leading to mood regulation and improved cardiovascular health, when massage therapy was introduced to women’s prenatal care. In women who received bi-weekly massages for only five weeks, hormones such as norepinephrine and cortisol (“stress hormones”) were reduced and dopamine and serotonin levels were increased (low levels of these hormones are associated with depression). These changes in hormone levels also led to fewer complications during birth and fewer instances of newborn complications, such as low birth weight. The evidence points strongly to maternal and newborn health benefits when therapeutic massage is incorporated into regular prenatal care.