Pregnancy is one of the most difficult times a woman could ever experience, aside from giving birth itself. Sometimes, it's just difficult to push to let the baby out. This is where natural techniques like induction massage come in. Before discussing the benefits of induction massage in inducing labor, it is important that you know what an induction massage is.
An induction massage is a method or technique used to induce labor through massage. It is an alternative for women seeking natural ways to encourage labor especially if they are afraid of acupuncture. This type of massage is suitable for mothers-to-be who are suffering from anxiety, stress, and fatigue. An induction massage can relax you and bring you back on track to labor.
The next question is when should you undergo an induction massage? The best time for it is during full-term pregnancy. A full-term pregnancy is defined by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) as the five-week window period before a child is born. The few days leading up to labor can be a very uncomfortable and stressful time for the mothers-to-be, this is where an induction massage comes in to make things easier for them. Like any other procedure, it is important that you are selective who is going to perform it and how it is performed because during this five-week window period before a baby is born, the child’s liver, lungs, and brain are still continuously developing. Make sure that the procedure is done by an expert in that field to get the full results and avoid any form of injury. Also, do not have an induction massage until you reach the five-week window of your pregnancy.
Learn how an induction massage is perform before undergoing one. A licensed massage therapist will use safe massage techniques such as a deep-tissue massage with firm strokes pressing deep into the muscles, a Swedish massage that employs long strokes to muscles and gives attention to joint mobility, and a shiatsu massage wherein pressure and tapping on acupressure points will be conducted to stimulate the natural energy or qi of the body.
If you are wondering if the massage therapists will touch your abdomen, well, it depends. There are massage therapists who opt not to massage the abdomen. On the other hand, there are those who do massage the belly part but apply very light pressure only.
Massages are generally very good for your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. When you are pregnant, a good induction massage can help in alleviating joint pain, relaxing your mind, giving you renewed energy, alleviating stress, and helping you maintain a healthy pregnancy. These benefits are discussed in detail below.
An induction massage improves circulation.
If you are pregnant, blood volume in your body increases dramatically to as much as fifty percent. Blood flow that reaches your legs usually becomes sluggish. Moreover, levels of anticoagulants in your blood that are designed to prevent hemorrhaging during delivery rise naturally. Due to all of these circulatory changes in your body, you are at risk of having blood clots in your lower legs specifically in the calves or inner thigh. With this, massage experts will use very light and slow strokes on your legs. They also avoid any deep massage and applying strong pressure on your legs because this may dislodge a blood clot. In addition to this, they avoid deep-tissue massage, deep acupressure, shiatsu, cross-fiver, and percussive tapping on the legs. All of their massage strokes will aim to move to the heart.
The massage helps in body pain.
Induction massage methods utilize designed rhythmic movements that work deep into the body to boost circulation and relieve the strain in your muscles and joints. It works by easing sciatic nerve pain and reducing swelling.
As your stomach becomes bigger, it is likely that you will have sciatic nerve pain because of the pressure placed on the muscles of your lower back and the pelvic floor of your uterus. This pressure will move down the legs which results in swelling and additional pressure is placed on the nerves. An induction massage can release tension within your muscles which will help by easing swelling and relieving your pain.
Joint pain is very common as your baby grows because too much pressure is placed on the main blood vessels in your body because of poor circulation. The heaviness of your uterus can also cause the joints to swell and your legs to hurt. An induction massage can help by stimulating the soft tissues and reduce the fluid retention within your joints.
It improves your posture.
Maintaining a good posture and alignment is also important in reducing body pain. Doing this is difficult as your baby becomes bigger and bigger and you will notice later on that the extra weight you are carrying everywhere can cause you to have poor posture. This can cause other problems such as joint pain and muscle spasms because of the heavy pressure applied to them. By undergoing an induction massage, it helps by improving muscle flexibility and tone, which will make your body more suited to take on the additional weight.
It relaxes the mind and gives renewed energy.
An induction massage is a good way to alleviate stress. A research conducted by the University of Miami School of Medicine reveals that an induction massage has numerous beneficial effects such as lowering of anxiety. In another study, researchers were able to discover that this type of massage is capable of elevating levels of serotonin and dopamine which are collectively called the feel-good hormones. An induction massage can also contribute to decreasing the levels of cortisol which is an indicator of stress. Overall, this massage can improve your mood and state of mind. Researches have also shown that, for many pregnant women, an induction massage has other great benefits. It can boost the immune system’s ability to fight off viruses and tumors and improve sleep.
The massage can make more space for your baby to come out.
An induction massage can help in releasing your sacrum and pelvic area so that more space is created for your baby to come down into your pelvis. This is very important for easier child delivery.
The massage can stimulate the release of specific hormones that causes labor.
Undergoing this method can stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system to encourage labor. This is made possible as the massage decreases the levels of stress hormones in your body and elevates the natural hormone, oxytocin, which is the main hormone responsible for childbirth and mother-child bonding. Moreover, the massages let your body have a deeply relaxing state and at the same time, stimulate points in your body that allow it to do whatever it is meant for it to do.
If you are still wondering if a massage during pregnancy is safe, then it is best that you ask for advice from your doctor. Just in case you decide to have an induction massage, make sure that you get someone who has a license, experience, and specializes in this type of massages. Also, never go through any massages while you are still in your first trimester. Though a massage cannot cause a miscarriage, the risk is high during this period.
Just do not forget that prior to undergoing any induction massage sessions, it is important that you inform and discuss this with your doctor. If you think you will be needing an induction massage because of the benefits that it can offer, then go for it.