Prenatal Massage Is the Foundation for a Healthy Lifestyle

By Stephanie Maziejka

MassageLast month I introduced the idea of healthy touch and creating a foundation for a healthy lifestyle through Infant Massage, but if you want to set the groundwork, you need to begin while the baby is in utero with a prenatal massage. Newborns are just that, new! It’s up to us as parents and guardians to nurture and guide these little babies towards healthy growth and development. A baby is born with up to 40 weeks of development in the womb already behind them; therefore, Mamas treat yourself and your body to a healthy, therapeutic, and relaxing prenatal massage.

Pregnancy can be a scary time, it’s a whole new world and there are a lot of physical and emotional changes that occur on a daily basis. Aside from the hormones, part of the emotional roller coaster of pregnancy comes from the utter discomfort that can be caused by our changing, growing, and leaking bodies.

Pregnancy remains a wonderful and beautiful experience because of the miracle of life growing inside, HOWEVER getting to that bundle of joy is not always 9 months of sunshine and rainbows. The first trimester (and for some unfortunate individuals all three trimesters) offers retching sickness and fatigue. Trimester two is a bit of a reprieve from both sickness and fatigue and it’s when the first real positive signs of pregnancy begin, the first signs of the baby bump, the first sounds of heartbeat, the first flutter of little feet. Towards the end of the second trimester into the third trimester there is tremendous growth-of everything. As the body grows, the center of gravity changes and so that we don’t face plant every time we stand up the body’s lordotic curve increases, that lower back arch that is the perfect place to rest our hands as we support the growing belly and baby that now likes to samba at night and nestle their little butt between our ribs by day.

Prenatal massage can greatly benefit the health and well being of both the mother and the baby. Physically prenatal massage can help maintain muscle tone and skeletal structural alignment. That pesky sciatica that flares up during pregnancy can be tamed and maintained through prenatal massage. Physiologically when the body is no longer in pain or discomfort individuals can relax more. Psychologically massage helps to activate the Parasympathetic Nervous System, which is responsible for decreasing stress levels and taking us out of  “Fight or Flight” which many of us reside in.  That which affects the mother directly affects the fetus. Stress, just like alcohol or drugs can have extremely negative effects on the weight and development of babies. In addition, a pregnant woman that has just had 60-90 minutes to herself of relaxation tends to be a much more pleasant individual, Future fathers take note.  Pamper yourself or your partner with prenatal massage and have a much more relaxed pregnancy and a relaxed baby!

Stephanie Maziejka is a massage enthusiast. She provides clinical massage at a gym during the week and teaches the art and science of massage therapy on the weekend at the National Massage Therapy Institute in Falls Church, VA. Believing it is never too early to begin a healthy lifestyle, she teaches infant massage and enjoys helping families to bond and benefit from nurturing healthy touch. Stephanie has recently become a mother herself and is getting to experience firsthand the joys and benefits of motherhood and massage.

Contact Stephanie directly via Email . If you live in Northern Virginia, you can also stop by Lifetime Fitness in Sterling, VA where Stephanie works Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 9-4.