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Prenatal Massage

Infant Massage

Massage is a wonderful way to relax, increase your energy, and relieve discomfort during your pregnancy. The tension caused by stress, along with the physical changes of pregnancy can sap your energy for coping day-to-day. A soothing massage can relieve physical and emotional tension, help you sleep better, and boost your energy.

Massage can help with many of the aches and pains you experience as your body changes during pregnancy. Massage can:

  • Relieve pain in your muscles and joints that must support added and redistributed weight;
  • Increase flexibility, making it easier for your body to adjust to a changing shape;
  • Ease constipation, gas and heartburn as general relaxation stimulates intestinal movement;
  • Reduce excess fluid retention by gently pushing fluid into circulation where it can be eliminated;
  • Slow the progress of varicose veins as enhanced circulation lowers pressure on bulging veins;
  • Relieve headaches caused by tension, constipation, or buildup of metabolic waste products.

The positive effects of infant massage have been well researched in studies such as those sponsored by UNICEF and the University of Miami School of Medicine. Among the results of the major studies are:

  • Children and infants who were massaged showed improved sleeping patterns, diminished anxious behavior and significantly reduced stress indicators, such as heart rate and stress hormone levels.
  • Premature babies who were regularly massaged gained weight faster, performed better on developmental tasks, acquired mental and motor skills earlier and were more relaxed than non-massaged babies. Early touch also benefited the developing nervous systems of these infants.
  • In India, where infant massage has passed down through generations, studies showed that babies massaged by their mothers developed both mentally and physically well beyond normal expectations given their malnourished condtion.
  • Institutionalized infants who received extra touch developed visual attentiveness earlier than babies who didn't. Visually impaired babies whose parents touched them early and often were able to reach toward sounds sooner than other babies

Massage is healthful and enjoyable during a normal pregnancy. However, because massage is not appropriate for some conditions, your massage therapist will want to know about your general health and your pregnancy. Give as much information as you can and always tell your massage therapist about any changes, even if you are not sure they are important. Remember, any condition your have now affects two people, one of whom is very small.


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