Benefits of Pregnancy Massage | Nose Creek Physiotherapy
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Benefits of Pregnancy Massage

Pregnancy is an incredible life experience that also brings about many changes. These changes can vary from person to person, but ultimately the experience brings some much needed attention to the body.

“Birthing is so integral with life; so common that choices surrounding it often get relegated to chance. We tend to go along with what everyone else is doing, assuming that must be for the best. Living in a technological society, we tend to think that the best of everything is the most expensive kind available. This is generally true, whether we are talking about cell phones, cameras, cars or computers. When it comes to birth, it isn’t necessarily so” – Ina May Gaskin

While doctors and other healthcare professionals are focused on the twelve systems of the body as a whole, Massage Therapists are drawn to making a influence on the SNS and PNS, also known as sympathetic nervous system and parasympathetic nervous system.

The sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous systems are important components to regulating and producing certain hormones and actions associated with fight or flight.

Sympathetic Nervous System (Fight, Flight or Freeze)

  1. Stress hormones released (catecholamines-adrenaline)
  2. Increases heart rate
  3. Increases blood pressure
  4. Increases effects of “morning sickness”
  5. Higher chance of miscarriage
  6. Higher chance of gestational diabetes
  7. Reduces blood supply to the uterus
  8. Increases distress in baby
  9. Reduces uterine functioning
  10. “Cascade of interventions” chances increased
  11. More likely to develop postpartum depression

Parasympathetic Nervous System (Rest and Digest)

  1. Relaxation hormones are released (endorphins)
  2. Resting heart rate
  3. Normal blood pressure
  4. Decreases “morning sickness” symptoms
  5. Increases chances of carrying to full term
  6. Healthy blood supply to uterus
  7. Decreases stress to baby
  8. “Cascade of interventions” chances reduced
  9. Postpartum depression is less likely to be experienced


What does this really mean? That it’s crucial to reduce stress in your life, especially during pregnancy. Massage Therapy has been proven to help with tension and relaxation, and helps provide necessary relief for stress.

“The important role of the peripheral nervous system in pregnancy, labour and postpartum stage should not be overlooked. Improved development of an unborn child, more positive experience during labours and birth outcomes and all together a more relaxed environment for the baby to come into are a few examples of how massage therapy positively affects this amazing system.” – Janine Gotzke, RMT

How Pregnancy and Massage Come Together

Stress Reduction and Relaxation

  • Brings awareness to the body, and areas that are tense and strained. Calms the mind
  • Affects hormones produced by the body (endorphins)
  • Affects labour progression and postpartum recovery

Improved Circulation

  • Increases nutrients and oxygen to mom and baby, increasing tissue health for both
  • Increases blood and lymph circulation
  • Reduces edema (if present)

Improved Physiological Function

  • Skin stimulation promotes hormone secretions that positively affect mothering behaviours and pregnancy outcomes (hormone balancing)
  • Improves respiration, with muscle release and education (belly breathing)
  • Improves gastric motility
  • Pelvic floor education for urinary system health (Kegel exercises)
  • Increases immunity with lymph circulation

Musculoskeletal Pain and Strain Reduction

  • Reduce back and pelvic discomfort
  • Reduces gastrocnemius cramping (restless legs)
  • Postural education
  • Decreases compression of lumbosacral and sacroiliac joints

Labour Preparation

  • Increases self awareness
  • Emotional support
  • Increases flexibility for birth (ease of movement into varying positions)

Labour Progression

  • Decreases stress, tension and cramping, and promotes relaxation (physically and emotionally)

Our Massage Therapist Carmen specializes in Pregnancy Massage, and is able to explain any of these benefits to you further.
Book with Carmen at the Thorncliffe Clinic by calling 403.275.7728

Be your best, feel your best.

Blair Schachterle
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