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10 Convincing Reasons to Get a Prenatal Massage


10 Reduce Stress


Did you know that you can carry stress in your neck and shoulders, especially when you’re pregnant? So if you’re feeling particularly anxious, so much so that you're literally in pain, then you know why — and you know the solution.

Let a masseuse help knead out those knots out that are adding to your stress levels and making you cranky. A massage can also help you get your mind off the things stressing you out, causing you to feel much calmer once you get off the table.


9 Increase Blood Flow


Blood flow is particularly important when you’re pregnant. Why? You’re providing your baby oxygen and nutrients through your bloodstream, and increasing blood flow to the uterus and placenta can help.

Getting a prenatal massage can help stimulate the circulatory system, which in turn can help increase and regulate your blood circulation. Additionally, if you’ve noticed symptoms such as swollen legs and ankles, the appearance of varicose veins, or suddenly having high blood pressure, this could be a result of increased blood during pregnancy, and a prenatal massage can help with all of these.


8 Reduce Pain And Swelling


As mentioned, swelling legs and ankles are pretty common symptoms throughout pregnancy. You may also suffer from joint, neck, back and leg pain — pretty much pain all over! The extra weight of the growing baby can put pressure on all parts of your body, which is likely the cause of your strain and discomfort.

Getting a massage can help relieve pain and swelling by increasing circulation and moving around fluid inside. If you’re at all concerned, you should always speak with your doctor to make sure a massage is a good choice for you.


7 Boost Your Mood


With the increased number of hormones in your body, it’s normal to feel a bit cranky. Or snappy. Or sad. Or angry. Okay, pretty much all the emotions. So instead of letting it out on your husband because he didn’t do the dishes, head to a masseuse for relief instead.

Prenatal massages have been shown to increase levels of the feel-good hormones, serotonin and dopamine. (That’s why you leave the salon with that dopey grin on your face each time.) The feeling can last all day, so it’s worth doing it on a day you’re feeling extra moody.


6 Improve Sleep


Not sleeping so great? That’s no surprise — most pregnant women have trouble getting a good night’s sleep, for good reason. They may suffer from tossing and turning all night due to an ever-growing belly, they may endure pregnancy insomnia where you can’t sleep or can’t fall back to sleep, or they just get up 12 times in the night to pee, resulting in interrupted sleep.

It’s no coincidence that you get sleepy when you get a massage. Massages can increase serotonin, and serotonin can form melatonin, the hormone that helps aid us to sleep. This can last all the way up to bedtime, so you'll probably conk out much easier than usual on a day you get your massage.


5 Alleviate Headaches


Find yourself rubbing your temples far too often? While headaches aren’t harmful to your baby, they can certainly be a nuisance to you, especially when you’re trying to work, go to sleep, read, or, well, anything!

While you can safely take Tylenol during pregnancy, you can’t take much of anything else. A prenatal massage can help cure even the nastiest of headaches naturally. Ask for a scalp massage, where the masseuse will hit all the right pressure points, from your neck to your shoulders and the base of your skull. Mmm.


4 Increase Comfort


At times, pregnancy can be physically uncomfortable. Everything is growing, everything is stretching, and everything hurts. You might notice you wake up in the morning persistently achy and sore, and can never quite get as comfortable as you did prior to growing a human.

A massage gives you an opportunity to really embrace comfort. You may be propped up with pillows. You may be supported with cushions. You can choose to recline or sit up or even lay on your stomach (which fits through a hole on a maternity chair). Prenatal massage specialists give pregnant women massages regularly and know every pressure point to hit. After your hour, you’ll be so comfortable you probably won’t even want to get up!


-DIANA WHELAN

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