“Incorporating Swedish strokes, Shiatsu (acupressure), and reflexology; Mother Massage* sedates the nervous system, producing much needed rest and relaxation, and while stimulating glandular secretions, stabilizing your hormonal levels. The lymphatic system circulates faster and more efficiently. The result is more energy and less fatigue. Massage can also reduce edema.
An increase in general circulation offers a rise of blood to all areas of your body, including the placenta, bringing more nutrition to the mother and baby. ‘Lazy’ red blood cells lining the vessel walls are reintroduced into circulation, thus increasing the red blood cell count, which can be particularly important to women with anemia.”
Certain massage techniques can induce and strengthen labor, and may help to avoid delayed, prolonged, or ineffective labors, allowing the mother and baby a more natural delivery.
Massage feels good! A relaxed and happy woman may enjoy her pregnancy more, and have a healthier and more comfortable pregnancy requiring less medical intervention. Post-partum, even after a cesarean, the many benefits of massage can help the new mother relax, recover and prepare to care for her new family.
Parents can also bond with their infants through gentle infant massage. Human skin and hands are extremely sensitive and receptive to touch, and the energy of touch is palpable. Your baby has been gently caressed in utero for many months, and stimulated during birth. Continue to nurture your infant through touch, as babies who receive massage are calmer and are known to thrive.
Add to these all its other known benefits, and massage therapy becomes an important part of caring for and nurturing the health of the expectant mother, the new parents, and their infant.
* Elaine Stillerman, LMT is based in Manhattan. She has worked with hundreds of pregnant women and their spouses and has published the book “Mother Massage” to share with parents-to-be, doctors, nurses, and massage therapists. I took her intensive course for massage during pregnancy, and continue to realize the quality and thoroughness of that training.