This is where I see most people for massage. by now, your baby’s hormones are produced by the placenta , people report having a boost of energy and the first trimester nausea is typically gone if not reduced greatly. Most people also find that body discomforts start to set in. Your baby is rapidly growing and with the relaxin in your joints (super helpful during labor) you might find yourself more achy and any pre-existing imbalances in your body will rear their heads.
Massage has all the same benefits as it does for the first trimester as mentioned in a previous blog post like regulation of body systems, and practicing the mind body connection and ever important rest. But, as your baby grows it can also be a wonderful way to connect to your baby! You might not have a “bump” yet especially if you’re a first time mom BUT you will soon start to feel kicks and the pregnancy will feel more “real”. Abdominal massage can specifically be a really helpful tool in connecting to your belly and baby!
Second Trimester prenatal massage is done in side-lying. I have done semi reclined for people who experience headaches as this positioning can give better access to the head neck and shoulders during a massage.
Stress reduction is also a huge benefit not to be overlooked! Stress has a major negative impact on the body and massage will help calm the nervous system and get you out of that “fight or flight” state our bodies go to when stressed and get you into a parasympathetic state where your breathing is regulated and body relaxed. Cortisol and norepinephrine (the main stress hormones) are lowered and dopamine and serotonin levels are increased!
As you get more into your pregnancy, swelling (edema) can occur. More common in the 3rd trimester, it can still be a “thing” in your second! Massage can help manually move excess fluid to be excreted via the lymphatic system which is a factor in increased immune function as well!
Your ribcage will start to flare at the bottom and expand to make room for baby which can lead to muscle tightness and discomfort; same with most muscle groups. As your chest enlarges it can put strain on your upper back and pectoral muscles! Stretching and massage are a great combo to combat this. As your belly grows, its harder to engage your core and oftentimes the hip flexors and glutes become really tight to make up for the lack of core strength which can lead to sciatica (impingement of the sciatic nerve in the glutes/hip) and can even cause pain down the legs. Massage helps to ease the tension and bring balance back to the body by relieving this nerve pain.