Massage in pregnancy is a wonderful experience with many benefits. It helps the woman relax, supports her body during profound changes in her physiology and also helps to prepare the whole body and mind for birth. In preparation for labour, perinatal specialists recommend women practice deep sustained levels of relaxation for 45 to 60 minutes without falling asleep, especially in the last 6 to 8 weeks of pregnancy (Samuels and Samuels, The New Well Pregnancy Book 1996). 60 minutes is the exact length of a pregnancy massage session by Therapia.
When relaxed, an expectant woman will have steadier blood pressure, respiratory rates and pulse; healthier immune system functioning, emotional states, and responses to stressful stimuli; regular blood flow to the uterus, placenta, and foetus; and she will feel less anxious and fearful (Nichols and Humenick, Childbirth Education: Practice, Research and Theory, 2000). Multiple massage sessions throughout the entire pregnancy are potentially even more powerful in pain reduction and in diminishing anxiety and depression (Moyer et al., A Meta-analysis of massage therapy research, 2004).
In a study by Field et al. (Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1999), they stated that pregnant women massaged twice weekly for 5 weeks experienced less anxiety and less leg and back pain. These women reported better sleep and improved moods, and their labours had fewer complications, including fewer premature births.