Pregnancy massage is therapeutic bodywork that focuses on the special needs of a woman’s body, as it is experiencing dramatic changes that occur during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. I offer three modalities to women during this time – pregnancy, postpartum and induction massage – all of which cater to helping you relax, release, ground and prepare yourself for your big transition into parenthood.
Touch is vital to the mother’s psychological and physiological wellbeing, as she adapts to many changes. Massage provides a nurturing touch, which in turn, nurtures the life of the unborn child. By relieving the aches and pains of a pregnant body, and taking time to relax, pregnancy massage translates positively in baby’s development. Massage reduces stress hormones (cortisol) in our bodies that cross over into the womb. Essentially, by getting massages, you’re giving your baby an early lesson in good self-care, and reducing any stress hormones baby is experiencing.
Bodywork during pregnancy can:
- Relieve common pregnancy pain: low back, sciatica, hip tension, carpal tunnel syndrome and headaches
- Decrease edema (swelling), enhance circulation and the immune system
- Stimulate the endocrine system, thereby stabilizing hormones
- Provide stress relief, emotional support and tranquil relaxation
Postpartum massage is designed to help restore the body to its pre-pregnant condition by releasing extra body fluids associated with pregnancy and birth, and by helping to balance out the hormonal shifts occurring. Postpartum massage particularly addresses the stress of carrying and caring for a newborn. This sort of massage can speed recovery from birth by bringing relief from sore muscles and helping the mother to relax, as well as providing nurturing emotional support during the early postpartum period.
Induction Massage includes a combination of relaxation massage, release of areas where deeper stress and discomfort are stored, and stimulation of labor-inducing, tender-to-touch acupressure and reflexology points that are normally avoided during pregnancy massage. Oftentimes energetic essential oils and energy work is included in the session. Induction massage can be a wonderful time for mom to process her feelings about her upcoming birth, and ask last-minute childbirth questions. Induction massage is only offered once a mother has reached 39 weeks gestation, or earlier in special circumstances such as prior to a scheduled induction. It has been found that a 90-minute massage has proven to be much more effective than 60 or 30 minutes. Studies show that stimulating the induction points help raise oxytocin levels (hormones needed to birth) to a peak around 7-8 hours after the massage – generally speaking, if baby is ready, labor would then begin within 24 hours. If baby and mom’s body are not ready, induction massage will help the cervix to ripen, efface and dilate, but labor will not begin until baby’s gestation is truly complete.
“Jaci was there for me when I needed a little extra TLC and was a week overdue. What a relief to have her experienced hands working on me. I went into labor exactly one week after my due date and am so grateful for you, Jaci!” ~ Kathleen S.
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