So here you are pregnant in Portland and wondering why this pregnancy thing has been so romanticized by so many. Or maybe that was just me. I got really sick each time. I remember lying on the couch of our old Portland bungalow and watching the buds on the trees forming, literally this is how I spent months in between vomiting and working. I had one saving grace, I was a doula and childbirth educator and I knew that prenatal massage would help me. The massage helps to move excess hormones that cause nausea out of your system. I felt so lucky to know many gifted Portland area prenatal massage specialists.
Every time I even laid my swollen, tired, nauseous body on one of their cozy tables I immediately felt relief, just being in this healing space was nurturing. But then the actual massage would happen and I’d melt and truly rest and even dream a little. It fortified me on so many levels.
When I was pregnant with my second baby I went over to a lesser known friends house for dinner. The woman had four children and she wanted to make me dinner, was she a Goddess? Probably. But in between big mouthfuls of salad and goat cheese crostini she said something that always stuck with me. She said “Being pregnant is like climbing a mountain at every moment in your existance for forty weeks, the least the rest of us can do is to take care of you during that time and directly after. It’s temporary but it’s really stressful, it’s a good time to let people help you.” After that I had no problem asking for help or letting myself be taken care of. I don’t know what it is about being pregnant that many of us proud women feel like we should just be able to power through and do everything ourselves. Prenatal massage has been around forever, for a very good reason, because it helps significantly. We all deserve to feel nurtured. That is why it is offered at Luna Wellness. Prenatal massage helps moms cope on a all mind, body issues but here are the three biggest things it helps with:
Three Benefits of Prenatal Massage:
1. Pain Reduction- Prenatal massage can improve circulation which reduces swelling and clears excess hormones, it helps improved oxygenation of soft tissues and muscles. It helps prevent headaches, reduces back pain, reduces joint pain, assists in an overall sense of wellbeing and improves immune functioning.
2. Stress Reduction- Prenatal massage helps to reduce stress, fear and anxiety, helps with sleep which can also increase libito and help mamas access their intuition and trust. We now know that stress can affect babies health so anything that reduces a mom’s stress level puts her baby at an advantage to being healthier in all areas. And we all want healthy babies.
3. Bring on Baby- Prenatal Massage can help babies come at the perfect time for both mamas and babies because it helps to bring about more of the feel-good hormones that kick start labor at the perfect time. The hormone oxytocin is released through massage and it helps you go into labor at the right time for you. Massage will not put you into labor if your body is not ready but it can help prime you for a healthy birth. It’s like the sun hitting ripe apples on the tree, if the apples aren’t yet ripe, they won’t fall it just helps the apples grow. But if the conditions are just right that sun will indeed assist in the apple’s descent.
Side note: If you are experiencing a high risk pregnancy please consult your doctor about massage.
Written by: Abigail Barella of Sparkle and Shine Guidance