Massage and Pregnancy An increasing number of women are finding that a periodically massage during pregnancy aids to reduce the discomfort and provides various benefits for the well-being of the mother and the health of the baby. Gentle professional massage may help to relieve related problems, like the very common backache (which may persist throughout pregnancy and yet after), stiff neck, leg cramps, headaches, sleeplessness, swollen ankles and feet and other complaints.

Discomfort and pain are produced due to woman's body undergoes several changes during pregnancy. These changes include:
    The heart augments total blood volume by 50%.
    The lungs augment oxygen consumption by 20%, which involves a 30% increase of inhaled air.
    The digestive system handle increased food intake while it is displaced (the intestines, stomach and diaphragm are pushed upward by the enlarged uterus).
    Blood circulation in the kidneys and filtering function increases by 35%.
    Pressure on the bladder by the uterus increases urination and urine leakage.
    Skin may be affected by rashes, breakouts, and discoloration.
    Weight gain increments the curvature of the lumbar spine and strain on the bones and joints.
Massage is excellent option to decrease stress and help deal with the alterations of pregnancy. The benefits to the mother are:
    Provides emotional support relieving depression or anxiety caused by hormonal alterations.
    Alleviates muscle spasms, cramps, stiffness, swellings and general pains, while increases muscular flexibility.
    Improves circulation and thus reduces the possibility of varicose veins and swelling in the feet and legs while keeps the blood pressure in check.
    Helps with digestion and decreases the likelihood of stretch marks.
    Aids to remove waste products through the lymphatic and circulatory systems, reducing fatigue.
    Stimulates glandular secretions, which helps stabilize hormone levels.
    Allows restful sleep and helps prevent pregnancy related insomnia.
    May relax also the fetus.
Frequently aromatherapy oils are employed during massage sessions. While many aromatherapy oils are safe and help relieve anxiety, tension, bloating and headaches like: Tangerine, Lemon, Tea Tree or Mandarin; others are contraindicated including: Arnica, Clary sage, Fennel, Jasmine and Juniper among others. So, it is necessary consult a physician before utilize any of these products, even those recommended.

Only qualified professional should give a Pregnancy Massage. Deep pressure, percussive strokes or massaging the wrong areas may trigger uterine contractions or generate other problems. Some schools advise to abstain from massage during the first months of pregnancy. Massage should be avoided by women with placental dysfunctions, pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, toxaemia or threatened miscarriage. In general all women have to check with their doctor before receiving any therapy during pregnancy.

Massage may be employed during the birth to make it more comfortable for the mother. After the birth, massage can also aid the mother to regain her strength more easily, and control the postpartum stress. Infant Massage (for babies) is very useful, too. The benefits for the baby include:
    Stimulates circulation.
    Improves muscle tone.
    Improves sleeping patterns.
    Reduces discomfort from colic, gas, and constipation.
    Strengthens digestive and circulatory systems.
    Stimulates brain development and coordination.

    : Heat/Cold treatments can decrease the pain and stiffness of the condition...
    : Massages are efficient alleviating the aches and enhancing the motion...
    : Treatments place toxins load on the body, which massage aid to remove...
    : Lymph drainage reduces the condition, eliminating the accumulated fluids...
    : Massage therapy diminishes headache occurrence and duration...
    : Massage is effective for pain and fatigue related to the condition...
    : Hidrotherapy and the use of pressure in certain areas help relieve pain...
    : Massage can redress the flow changes triggered by hormone production...
    : The manipulation of the soft tissue decreases muscular tension and knots....